Day 1: Health is a Human Right. Right?

Activity 4: Site visits story-telling

1 hour 30 minutes
(Early evening after-dinner activity)


To help us to:

  • Hear stories of political economy from the site visits 
  • Deepen our grappling with why a political economy analysis matters for health equity

Task 1
Story-telling as a political economy analysis method

(50 minutes)

In plenary, each site visit group will have 10-12 minutes to tell the story of your learning from the site visit, with the bones of the story guided by the questions above in Activity 3. We ask you to experiment with the technique of political economy story-telling below. It is also in the Framing Document on page 32 in the last part of Section 1. 

Learning as story-telling2 and grappling with narratives and their power

The way in which the story technique can be applied to political economy will involve the following core elements: 

  • The setting – putting forward as set of basic contradictions or contrasts as the frame and at the beginning of telling the story of political economy (this helps to identify what is potentially affecting and engaging and begins the learning process in a manner that is vivid and brings to the fore why the content matters). 
  • The dynamics and impacts of the basic contradictions – the narration moves to elaborate the dynamics and impacts of the basic contradictions put forward in the setting. 
  • Conclusion – often in a story, there is a conclusion with either a resolution or mediation of the conflict set up at the beginning. In the case of political economy, our conclusion will be to work out the implications that the political economy concept as a tool has for achieving health equity. 

Here is a demonstration of this story-telling technique in facilitating learning on political economy: 

  • Identifying importance and relevance – What is important about this topic? Why does it matter? What is affectively engaging about it? 
  • Finding and presenting the basic contradictions or contrasts or opposites – What basic contradictions or contrasts or opposites best express and articulate the importance of the topic? 
  • Organising content in story form – What content most dramatically articulates the basic contradictions or contrasts or opposites, in order to provide access to the topic? What content best articulates the topic into a developing story form? 
  • Conclusion/drawing the implications and learning for action – From the perspective of health equity, what is the best way of resolving the dramatic conflict inherent in the basic contradictions or contrasts or opposites? What degree of strategy can emerge from a critical understanding of the concept? 
  • Evaluation – How can we use the story-telling technique to assess the extent to which the topic has been critically understood, its importance grasped, and the content learned? 

Task 2
How are we left feeling as a collective and as individuals?

(20 minutes)

In plenary, we will have an open sharing session with Fellows reflecting on how they are grappling with the emotions and feelings that the site visits have left us with. This can include feelings as a group and/or as individuals. It will be a time of collective acknowledgment and recognition of what social justice activism takes and gives us as individuals and collectives. 

Task 3
What are we learning about political economy tools of analysis?

(20 minutes)

The closing plenary will see the facilitator reflecting on the tapestry of stories and how together they powerfully present the key elements of a political economy of health inequity story. 

2. In addition to Tekano planning discussions, this section is based on, expands and adapts the paper by Kieran Egan (Memory, Imagination, and Learning: Connected by the Story, published in Phi Delta Kappan journal, issue 70, no. 6, p455-59, February 1989: