Are you a(n) (almost) graduate of anthropology or qualitative social science? Are you wondering how to explain to a future employer what you have to offer, or do you have inhibitions about whether working in industry, government or NGO’s is right for you as a nuanced researcher? Namla can help you!

Namla is an initiative by Corina Enache and Rosalie Post, two applied anthropologists with a range of experience in industry and (non-government. In 2019, we met each other and started a community for people like us, who were working in and on the same problems as we were. Students and graduates arrived with questions, and while we answered those, we slowly realised we had some knowledge worth passing on.

So, last year we developed a one-week intensive bootcamp experience and called it Namla. In the bootcamp you conduct a small research for a stakeholder, and we guide you through the process from beginning to end. This means you not only learn how to do rapid ethnography, but also how to develop and test an intervention through design thinking techniques, and how to sell you found solution in a pitch. In short, we tell you about all the products and processes we use in our jobs, to explain to our bosses and clients what we are doing and why it is important.

The project: the voice of citizens of small financial means in Amsterdam West
This bootcamp is part of the exploratory fase of a large scale research project that our stakeholder will conduct. Citizens who are living on social welfare or small means are often hard to reach for the policy maker. They may not always fill out a questionaire, may not show up for participation events, may not read the municipality’s flyer. Yet a lot of government programs and policies are particularly designed to support this group. And then again we know, that there are often obstacles in practice (like rules working against each other) that can prevent people who might need it most, to be elligible for or willing to accept government support. On the other hand it could be that people speak up, but that policy makers do not hear them, or aren’t able to translate their voices into complex policies. So, the project, Common’s Voice, aims to figure out how these people can be heard, and in such a way that it is not bothersome for them, does not take up too much of their time, or is in other ways not sustainable or ethical. Simultaneously it wishes to explore the side of the professional as well, what can be improved in their understanding, listening or translation? Namla bootcamp does an open exploration at the beginning of this process, wondering: Where do we find the citizens’ stories and voices? Who is a keeper or translator of them? How can policy makers understand the feedback from the citizens better? There are three directions the stakeholder wishes to explore: co-decision making processes, key-persons in the neighborhood, and local civil society collectives.

It is still possible to apply. Here you can find more information!

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