Six years ago, when I was 25 years old, I had the chance to start working as a researcher at the center for research and statistics in the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development (FUSADES).
It’s been almost eight years now.
The memory is still fresh in my mind. It was a rainy night of July 6, 2011, and my baby boy was only 5 months old. I was in the dining room of my parents’ house, watching the TV news about the disappearance of Cristina Siekavizza.
Sometimes, in the deep wild forests of Guatemala, weird inaudible noises appear. Noises that can’t be identified as wild birds or falling trees. These recurrent noises are different, they are not natural. Someone could say they resemble voices, but have become so normalized, that people don’t pay attention to them anymore
I’ve always been interested in storytelling. A story is a time-tested way to pass experiences down from one person to another. A story is how wisdom is shared with the next generation, whether a historical text or a bedtime story, and it’s how we as development practitioners inspire action and change. Storytelling got me interested in communications and it’s the reason I believe that we need to build storytelling into all our project plans.
Like all organizations, policy research organizations — also known as “think tanks” — reflect the gendered social norms of their societies. This means that think tanks themselves can either perpetuate gender inequalities or foster gender equality in their organizational structures and research processes.