Monthly Archives: April 2013

Wayne Jepson reflects on our work and being a member of our Advisory Panel

This is the final video in a series of three that we conducted with Participation Cymru Advisory Panel members, following previous interviews with both Derek Walker of the Wales Co-operative Centre and Margaret Peters of the Countryside Council for Wales (which is now part of Natural Resources Wales). We filmed these as part of our Evaluation Framework, which helps us to ensure that what we do is meeting the needs of people and organisations who access our services.

Wayne Jepson on Participation Cymru / Wayne Jepson ar Gyfranogaeth Cymru from Participation Cymru on Vimeo.

Wayne is a long serving member of the Advisory Panel. He has represented NLIAH (the National Leadership and Innovation Agency for Healthcare, which has now closed, with its functions transferred to the Welsh Government and NHS Wales) for a few years now, and he has been involved in commissioning work from us as a project as well as providing a steer for our work as a member of the Advisory Panel.

When I asked Wayne to tell me how he saw the role of Participation Cymru’s Advisory Panel he said “I think the Advisory Panel is a critical element of Patricipation Cymru’s development. I think it provides a forum to inform and influence decisions that are being made by Participation Cymru and about Participation Cymru and the wider public sector. For me, the Advisory Panel not only acts as a programme board might for a project, but it also is there as that check and balance for Participation Cymru. I think that because of the make-up of the Advisory Panel – people are from a range of different organisations and different sectors – it brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table that can only help Participation Cymru in developing and moving forward”.

One of the National Principles for Public Engagement in Wales is to “Work with relevant partner organisations”. NLIAH firmly put this into action in their role as an Advisory Panel member by commissioning training from us in partnership with the Welsh Local Government Association. This approach ensured the best possible use of resources, but also gave added value to the training as attendees were given the opportunity to network and to learn from each other’s experiences.

NLIAH produced a range of useful resources on improving health services, including really useful guidance on involving adult NHS service users and carers, which clearly shows that listening to the voice of patients and the public is vital in order to ensure the improvement of NHS services in Wales.

– Dyfrig


E-participation and storytelling

Participation is such a big concept, the scale of it is so big it’s almost frightening! It encompasses so much from traditional approaches to involving people and communities in person, to engaging with online communities such as social media.

I’m lucky enough to work in a role where I’ve been given lots of freedom to use social media. I know I’m lucky because 53% of respondents to the All Wales Public Services Internet and Social Media Survey said restrictive ICT policies were still a barrier where they worked (full report to be available soon!).

I’ve been lucky to go to a few different courses and events and meet many people who’ve taught me loads about social media, including Louise Brown, who ran a great course for Voices for Change Cymru on online campaigning (and who also has a great blog), and Esther Barrett and Paul Richardson of RSC Cymru, who ran an event for WCVA staff on using social media.

Both sets of training were very practical and gave me ideas about using free tools to engage with people. Esther taught me and fellow staff how to Audacity, which I blogged about using to evaluate our project.

The next time I ran into Esther was at the DS6 Digital Storytelling event in Aberystwyth, where I was based at the time. Esther got into a bit of a discussion at the event about using non-traditional tools like Facebook to tell non-traditional stories. You can see and hear Esther talk more about that in the above video. Her response really got me thinking about how we capture people’s stories to influence public services, especially as more and more people and services are using social media to engage. She ended up running an online conference using Elluminate on this experience, which is fascinating viewing. You can see it here. It covers how people use technology to tell stories in creative ways, right from the Twitter novel that was wholly written in Tweets to the Facebook user who documented the birth of her child. It’s amazing how powerful these narratives are.

Esther and Paul Richardson of RSC Cymru will be helping me to deliver the Introduction to e-participation course that’s part of our current training programme. I’ll feel a bit rude leading the day when I’ve learnt so much from both Esther and Paul, but if you’re attending I hope you find it as useful as I found RSC Cymru’s training!

– Dyfrig