OPSI Case Study: “The Kansas vision for the early childhood system is: All children will have their basic needs met and have equitable access to quality early childhood care and educational opportunities, so they are prepared to succeed in kindergarten and beyond. In 2019, the State of Kansas received a large federal grant (the Preschool Development Grant) to conduct a needs assessment and craft a strategic plan for the early childhood system where all children can thrive. The grant leadership team of state agencies utilized this opportunity to harness the power of Our Tomorrows’ innovative Community Sensemaking Approach to map families’ lived experiences and create policies and programming adaptive to families’ needs.
In this context, Our Tomorrows set out to achieve three goals:
1. Gather stories about thriving and surviving from families across Kansas utilizing a complexity-informed narrative research approach called SenseMaker.
2. Make sense of patterns that emerged from the stories through Community Sensemaking Workshops with stakeholders at various levels of the system.
3. Take action and ennoble bottom-up change through Community Action Labs.
From a complexity perspective, these goals translate to developing a ‘human sensor network,’ embedding citizen feedback loops and sensemaking processes into governance, and complexity-informed intervention via portfolios of safe-to-fail probes….(More)“