INTRODUCTION – Extract
“People with direct experience of poverty are best able to comment on the difficulties they face. We are skilled and able to gather data, comment on effective ways of working and fully understand the impact of policies on us. Not wanting to be seen as part of the problem, we want the opportunity to feed into effective solutions”
(Dylan Eastwood, member of Poverty2Solutions & Thrive Teesside)
The problems of poverty and insecurity are much written about in this journal and elsewhere, with academics, commentators and journalists charting the extent of poverty that we face in the UK, and the consequences this has for affected households and wider society. What is so often missing, though, is a real and sustained engagement with people who have direct experiences of the problems of which academics and commentators write – those who we here describe as ‘experts by experience’ – people who have lived experiences of poverty and social security receipt. This article is a collaborative effort to explore an alternative approach, with each of the authors having a different form of expertise on poverty (as a facilitator of a community group (Herrington), as someone with direct experience of social security (Watson) and as an academic (Patrick)).
In this article, we outline our experiences working together on a project called ‘Poverty2Solutions’, which has set out to challenge some of the traditional ways of working when gathering information and conducting research with (but all too often on) people and communities experiencing poverty. Instead, Poverty2Solutions has sought to draw upon the expertise of people in poverty to develop policy ideas and solutions that could make a meaningful difference to their and others’ lives. This is about much more than promoting storytelling and the sharing of lived experiences, and is instead about harnessing the expertise in which these experiences are rooted for effective and transformative change. Continues …
SOURCE: Herrington, T. Patrick, R. and Watson, S. (2020) “Poverty2solutions: reflections from collaborative research rooted in the expertise of experience on poverty.” Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, vol 28, no 1, 135–146, DOI: 10.1332/175982719X15759738790370
Link to website [Open access]
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF COUNTRY
The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.