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MIRRA: Memory – Identity – Rights in Records – Access

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Archive for January, 2021

MIRRA+ workshops

Peter Williams7 January 2021

A happy and (especially, considering last year!) healthy New Year from the MIRRA+ team! Just to say, in this update that, along with our OLM partners, we ran two workshops just before Christmas in which we discussed the participatory record-keeping principles developed in Phase One of the research. These were to tease out the implications for the design specification for a new participatory system. The principles were initially cut down by the research team to the 20 most likely to be of relevance in creating the specification for such a system, and participants were asked to choose individually and then discuss what they considered to be the four most important in this context. The first workshop was with our ‘co-researcher’ group of care-experienced people (the ‘receivers’ of care records) and the other with the information providers or ‘deliverers’.

Both workshops showed how passionate everyone was to promote positive change. For the Care Experienced individuals, redaction was one important issuer. They felt that their files were over redacted, leading to serious gaps in their journey in care. Feelings of distress were reported, and some felt they were being misled. Participants also said the preservation of memories should include material items – the smell of letters and hand-written notes in old books were said to bring back more memories than digital copies.

For the Deliverers, much of the focus was on the quality and preparation of content. In terms of the latter, concerns were expressed about gaps in the care experienced person’s life, the language used and the lack of creative record keeping such as photographs, awards, and letters. They felt participatory record keeping would help in allowing the young people and important individuals in their lives to contribute and build a story. However, this would need to be delivered in an age appropriate and sensitive way.

From both of the workshops, four main principles were agreed as potentially having the most positive impact:

  • Inclusion of sentimental items
  • Minimising redaction
  • Participatory record keeping
  • Creative record keeping

OLM Systems will now conduct further internal workshops to analyse the results, brainstorm solutions, and create interactive designs. Watch this space!