THE ART OF LISTENING: making a difference through ‘Enduring Connections’

‘Why and how should you do participatory research?’ and ‘how do you ensure your work is gender sensitive?’”

The Enduring Connections team has benefited from the advice of Alyson Brody, a freelance consultant on climate change, development and gender. Alyson is an anthropologist, with more than 20 years’ experience in the field of gender and social development. She was a former senior manager of BRIDGE, a global gender and development research and information programme based at the Institute of Development Studies. Alyson led collaborative research and knowledge sharing programmes with a focus on the effective integration of gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment into critical areas of development that include governance, food security and climate change.

‘Enduring Connections’ brought together project researchers, environmental humanities scholars at Bath Spa University, and Alyson Brody, in order to discuss some of the proposals received from project partners KiriCAN.  The National Trust’s Coast and Marine expert, Phil Dyke, was also present. He has a long-standing interest in engaging local communities on sustainability issues, as well as a personal interest in the challenges facing small island developing states (SIDS).

We sat together in February, 2017, to discuss the ways in which we could help facilitate KiriCAN, a grassroots environmental organisation in Kiribati, to identify and address their community’s own needs. To help ensure best practice, Alyson created this practical resource for research planning and implementation, freely available to download and view by clicking on the link below:

THE ART OF LISTENING: making a difference through ‘Enduring Connections’

Alyson Brody introduces her resource in this way:

“The aim of this document is to inform the Enduring Connections project and ensure it makes a difference to understandings of heritage and climate change and – most importantly – to the people with whom the researchers are working. It sets out some questions that may help guide thinking around the methodological approach, the interpretation of data and the ways in which the people informing your research are represented. It also provides information and ‘food for thought’ around two linked central concerns: ‘why and how should you do participatory research?’ and ‘how do you ensure your work is gender sensitive?’”

From the perspective of the project researchers:

“Rather than shy away from the unfamiliar (to us) focus on development, we decided to enhance our own capacity for conducting ethical and responsive research in a development context. We welcomed the opportunity to bring our own collective disciplinary expertise on heritage, and media and communication to a project which aims to make  positive contribution to the UN’s sustainable development goals in Kiribati. This is largely because our prior collaborative research in Kiribati revealed that the urgency of their contemporary environmental and development issues. We wanted to work with the grassroots environmental organisation, KiriCAN, whilst also ensuring  that we were proceeding with caution, sensitivity, and gender-awareness. By engaging in dialogue with Alyson, as well as with other environmental humanities scholars, we gained confidence in our own approach. We hope that this freely-available resource can be similarly useful to others”. (SPJ)

Facilitator Pack


This is a freely available workshop facilitation pack. It was  produced by our team in order to help the heritage sector communicate climate change in an effective way.

This pack draws upon our ‘We need to talk about Climate Change’ workshop at the Manchester Museum, Manchester, UK, on 7 April 2017.

The aim of this workshop was to come together to explore existing heritage sector practices; share new approaches to engagement and communication around climate change; and to help forge positive connections and modes of collaboration. For example, this facilitation guide was requested by participants so they might initiate/animate conversations with their own audiences.



‘Nothing comes through the letterbox on climate change’

Our workshop at the Manchester Museum in April 2017 made use of quotations from our research participants. These were useful to prompt discussion as they present, and allow us to explore, a range of different viewpoints on climate change and heritage. We have made these quotations freely available to facilitate your own discussions.

Click below to download these quotations.

workshop excercise quotes

We need to talk about Climate Change

(Note: this is a past event. A summary of the workshop can be downloaded here: HERITAGE AND CLIMATE CHANGE WORKSHOP SUMMARY)

Workshop at Manchester Museum,  April 7th, 2017

This is an exploratory workshop which brings together some key individuals from a range of heritage organisations. Together we will consider how this sector is currently communicating climate change to the public.  We will explore a series of important questions:

  • Could heritage organisations play an important role within climate communication- why and how?
  • Should the heritage sector try to communicate climate change to the public, and on the basis of what principles does it get involved?

We will also share ideas about the potential barriers to these strategies (internal or external to the organisation) and how they might they be overcome.

This workshop came about because of our earlier research findings, for a project called ‘Troubled Waters’, which suggested a need for heritage organisations to face the challenge of climate change communication. Our own engagement with communities that are increasingly vulnerable to coastal inundation and flooding, indicated the importance of effective engagement and communication. The workshop will draw from the findings of research conducted in the UK and in Kiribati, a low-lying island nation in Micronesia, and share some of the opinions expressed by individuals in those communities.

The workshop is hosted by project partners, Manchester Museum, and facilitated by Dr Anna Woodham (Kings College London) and Dr Jo Orchard-Webb (freelance consultant). It draws on the expertise of Climate Outreach, who will also work with the project team to deliver a freely available online toolkit, to reflect this ongoing conversation. This toolkit will be specifically targeted for the heritage sector, as it finds its role within climate change communication.

Joint the conversation at #heritage4climate