Cultural sensitivity essential when providing information about divorce and separation

info rijksoverheid

How do people from bi-cultural backgrounds view divorce and separation, and what information needs do they have in this situation? In what ways can the central government improve and expand its current range of information on this topic so that it better meets those information needs? Commissioned by the Department of Public and Communication (DPC) of the Ministry of General Affairs, the Research group Inclusion and the Creative Industries researched these questions in a design project, involving experts, people from bi-cultural backgrounds, self-help organizations and others. The goal of this design project was to gain more insight into the perspectives and information needs of people with a bi-cultural background when it comes to divorce and separation. And to come up with solutions that better support all those involved around divorce and separation.

The research team included project leader Ouafila Bejja-Essayah, Professor Joke Hermes and Mirthe van den Hee. Professor of Design Thinking Guido Stompff was also involved.

With our research, we have shown how valuable knowledge can be generated through a combination of anthropological and design-oriented research. In doing so, we hope to contribute to a different perception of research: to let go of classical forms of research more and, above all, to be closely connected to the people for whom the services are intended. To really see, hear and appreciate them.

Ouafila Bejja-Essayah, lecturer researcher Inclusion and the Creative Industries

Saskia Soekhoe-Datadin, Strategic Advisor on Inclusion at the Department of Public and Communication (DPC) of the Ministry of General Affairs: "The design project yielded a wealth of insights about the different context of marrying, divorcing and separating and the perceptions about this among people from bi-cultural backgrounds. It also examined the influence of informal and formal helpers. The neutral role of the Inholland researchers during the co-creation session was crucial, among other things as a link between the system world of the government and the living world of those involved. The co-creation session also prevented unconscious assumptions from playing a role among creators of the information offered by the central government for people from bi-cultural backgrounds about divorce and separation."

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