Knowledge Construction in Community Initiatives

September 10, 2017

In this issue of Inside ATLAS.ti we interview Angela Frusciante, from Knowledge Designs to Change, a company based in Orange, Connecticut, USA.

Angela, thank you very much for sharing with us your experience with ATLAS.ti.  First, tell us a little bit about yourself and your company.

I have combined academic training in the areas of design, urban planning and education and focus my research on the ways in which participants construct knowledge in social and policy change initiatives. Knowledge construction is a social and public action and therefore needing attention to issues of equity including the notions of access, voice, and power.

Knowledge Designs to Change is a mission driven organization that supports community organizations, collaboratives, initiatives, and networks to align knowledge processes with change strategy for sustained impact. See more of our approach at www.kd2change.com.

Tell us about the project in which you will be using ATLAS.ti

Knowledge Designs to Change has formalized a relationship with the Community Partnership Exchange Network, (CPEN). CPEN is a grassroots led collaboration that activates change within the Newhallville neighborhood of New Haven, Connecticut (USA). CPEN began as a parent-led action inquiry initiative and has grown into a community based support for residents who want to develop community leadership.

Residents are tired of being “researched” and “studied” and want to have greater understanding themselves of the processes of planning and change so that they can work with outside development efforts from a place of greater resident ownership. The vision of our work together is that residents will utilize knowledge tools and processes that enable them to gain access, resources, and leadership skills.

Please give us a summary of how you will use ATLAS.ti in this study

I first used qualitative software when working on my dissertation. I actually used a different program and found it to be totally wrong for my analytic approach. In my professional career, I shifted to ATLAS.ti because I needed a tool that was much more flexible and conducive to creative configurations of qualitative research design. ATLAS.ti allows me to meet the various needs of my inquiry and as a result, the needs of my partner clients.

Initially, we are planning to use ATLAS.ti in three ways. First, I am doing interviews with the grassroots leader who created CPEN. I am looking for her approach, her ideas about the community, and I am mapping out the work that is already happening on the ground. As we move forward, we will expand those interviews to more local leaders. Second, I am using ATLAS.ti to lay out some of the public demographic data that applies to the city and the neighborhood. Thirdly, in the first phase, CPEN is anticipating utilizing an asset mapping approach. I expect to be working with the community partner to utilize ATLAS.ti to log responses, as data, from community residents about their views of neighborhood assets. I believe that, using ATLAS.ti, will cause the data to be understood as community generated.

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