Participatory Narrative Inquiry

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= PNI is a process in which groups of people gather and work with raw, real stories of personal experience to do useful things in their communities or organizations.


"Participatory narrative inquiry is an approach in which groups of people participate in gathering and working with raw stories of personal experience in order to make sense of complex patterns for better decision making. PNI focuses on the profound consideration of values, beliefs, feelings, and perspectives through the recounting and interpretation of lived experience." (


"What is NarraFirma?

  • It's a checklist. NarraFirma provides practical guidance as you work, with questions for you to answer, recommendations based on the conditions you describe, activities that help you make decisions, and just-in-time advice.
  • It's a journal. NarraFirma helps you keep careful records about what happened in your project, and it gives you places to reflect on what happened. This reminds you to keep learning as you work, and it helps you to document your project for future reference.
  • It's a kiosk. NarraFirma helps you collect stories, on-line and/or off-line, based on question forms you design (with sample questions you can copy). Because story collection is integrated, there is no need to export or import data.
  • It's a workstation. NarraFirma helps you explore and interpret patterns in your data (stories and answers to questions about stories), creating annotated visualizations you can use to make sense of the stories you collected."



More Information

  • Working with Stories, together with its companion volume More Work with Stories, is a self-guided textbook for people who want to use Participatory Narrative Inquiry (PNI). [1]