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  • Author or Editor: Camilla Adelle x
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Post-positivist critics of the linear-rational understanding of the role of knowledge in decision making have long argued the need for the construction of socially robust knowledge to illuminate policy problems from a variety of perspectives, including lived experiences.

Aims and objectives:

This article charts the attempts of researchers to employ a creative method, digital storytelling, alongside more traditional scientific data in stakeholder deliberations to inform local food governance in South Africa.


Four storytellers from a marginalised group created and introduced their digital story about a ‘time when they had to make a difficult choice about what food to purchase or get’ to a public governance forum and the reactions of the audience self-reported.


The digital stories were emotionally compelling and gave granular detail to the more top-down perspective of the scientific data. There were concerns, however, for the welfare of the storytellers when introducing their stories in the forum.

Discussion and conclusion:

Our findings highlight the multi-functionality of digital storytelling as a method of creativity within the process of co-production, not just as a technique to make visible knowledge from marginalised groups, but also as a mechanism (when used and viewed in a wider governance context) to promote knowledge mobilisation and alternative ways of knowing. The use of digital storytelling in these wider governance contexts, or social learning spaces, however, also surfaces ethical and other risks.

Open access