Creating stories for impact: Co-producing knowledge with young people through story mapping

Lorraine van Blerk (Lead / Corresponding author), Janine Hunter, Wayne Shand, Laura Prazeres

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This paper explores co-production of knowledge for impact with young people through the process of creating digital story maps, drawing on co-produced research from two projects: with homeless youth in African cities; and with youth refugees in Uganda and Jordan. It examines the process of creating three story maps with the intention of enabling young people to co-produce knowledge exchange and research impact. Participants were able to engage in the latter stages of research as part of research analysis, outcomes and outputs beyond the temporal and spatial confines of data collection. The story maps were therefore used not only to “bring life” to reports produced for stakeholders and funders, but also to take young people's research stories beyond locally bound contexts to reach a variety of global audiences. The reflections in this paper also highlight that while the approach adopted was not without challenges, in all three story maps a knowledge exchange process was fostered that resulted in young people feeling they had been listened to; were able to contribute to debates that affect their own lives and to instil a desire to create change, influence policy and inform publics about their lives. The paper concludes that story mapping is a useful creative process for extending young people's input into knowledge exchange and longer-term research impacts.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Early online date29 Jun 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jun 2022


  • impact
  • knowledge exchange
  • co-production
  • young people
  • story maps

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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