Sense Making: The Process of Data Analysis and Interpretation

  • Tineke Abma
  • Sarah Banks
  • Tina Cook
  • Sónia Dias
  • Wendy Madsen
  • Jane Springett
  • Michael T. Wright

Chapter Summary


In this chapter you will be led step-by-step in how to analyze the data generated in the research process. The focus is on how to organize a group process to make sense out of the data, taking into account various data forms and the different competencies and skills of the various participants and community members. Principles to guide the quality of sense making are presented, with a focus on maintaining a critical stance and a high level of participation in the process.


To guide you in making sense of the data from a participatory research project together with the local research team.

Central Question

How do we make sense of the generated data within a participatory process?


Data analysis Being critical Data interpretation Quality criteria 

Further Reading and Sources of Inspiration

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tineke Abma
    • 1
  • Sarah Banks
    • 2
  • Tina Cook
    • 3
  • Sónia Dias
    • 4
  • Wendy Madsen
    • 5
  • Jane Springett
    • 6
  • Michael T. Wright
    • 7
  1. 1.Amsterdam Public Health Research InstituteVU University Medical CentreAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of SociologyDurham UniversityDurhamUK
  3. 3.Department of Disability and EducationLiverpool Hope UniversityLiverpoolUK
  4. 4.National School of Public HealthUniversidade Nova LisboaLisbonPortugal
  5. 5.School of Health, Medical & Applied SciencesCentral Queensland UniversityRockhamptonAustralia
  6. 6.Centre for Healthy Communities, School of Public HealthUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  7. 7.Institute for Social HealthCatholic University of Applied SciencesBerlinGermany

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