RESTORE-Meeting in Vienna, Austria
18th April - 20th April, 2012
The RESTORE consortium met in Vienna in April 2012 for face-to-face training in Normalisation Process Theory and Participatory Learning and Action Research. This training followed up on the initial training in NPT and PLA which was delivered during a residential week in Galway, Ireland from Oct 31st to Nov 3rd and from interim support and training using e-mail, video conferences and DVDs.
In Vienna our work focused on enhancing the consortium's knowledge and understanding of NPTs four constructs – Coherence (sense making) Cognitive Participation (Engagement) Collective Action (Enactment) and Reflexive Monitoring (Reflection). For this we used two exercises. Exercise 1 was based on a 'light' example about a circus tent as a novel accommodation arrangement for consortium meetings.
This evoked stimulating and lively exchanges that helped everyone to connect with the NPT constructs and then enabled all to apply the constructs to a RESTORE-related example in Exercise 2 (see below).
This work was followed by Exercise 3 which provided researchers with an opportunity to practise their facilitation skills for forthcoming 'welcome events' in RESTORE. This was a valuable opportunity to develop skills in a safe space and to enhance researchers' confidence.
Our final two exercises concentrated on the integration of NPT and PLA using a PLA technique called an Options Assessment Matrix. This was an exciting stage for all as we could explore in a very detailed way the processes by which the unique combination of theory and method may be operationalised in RESTORE.
At the close of the training programme, consortium members engaged in a Participatory Evaluation and this activity provided clear information about e.g., experiences and effects of the training, usefulness of DVD training supports, training and practice exercises, participant's sense of achievement and confidence, next steps and ongoing training supports required.