Drivers for Change – Lived Experience
Lived/living experience refers to personal knowledge gained through direct, first-hand involvement in everyday events of life. Individuals with lived/living experience bring first-hand knowledge since they have lived or are still living certain experiences. People with lived/living experience can have a deeper understanding of systemic barriers, problems faced, and what needs to be done to address them. This makes their involvement in decision-making processes necessary for systemic change.
Working alongside communities with lived experience can help:
- Strengthen the legitimacy and accountability of the work;
- Improve the effectiveness of initiatives and services;
- Enhance community partnerships and collaboration;
- Support innovation
Sandhu, B. (2017). The Value of Lived Experience in Social Change: The Need for Leadership and Organisational Development in the Social Sector. Retrieved from:
Soh, B. L. (n.d.). Six ideas on designing advisory councils for the participation of experts with lived/living experience. Retrieved from:
Further Reading / Additional resources
- Sandhu, B. (n.d.). Building Opportunities for Inclusive Leadership (SSIR). https://ssir.org/articles/entry/building_opportunities_for_inclusive_leadership
- Crenshaw, K. (2016, November). KimberlÃ© Crenshaw: The Urgency of Intersectionality [Video file]. https://www.ted.com/talks/kimberle_crenshaw_the_urgency_of_intersectionality?language=en
- Soh, B. L. (n.d.). Six ideas on designing advisory councils for the participation of experts with lived/living experience. https://maytree.com/stories/six-ideas-on-designing-advisory-councils-for-the-participation-of-experts-with-lived-living-experience/
Lived Experience Advisory Council. (2016). Nothing about us without us: Seven principles for leadership and inclusion of people with lived experience of homelessness. Toronto: The Homeless Hub Press.
The website is an open access platform to share learning, ideas and pioneering work happening across the social change space. It contains a report detailing the need for lived experience among leadership working towards social change.
Racial Equity Tools is designed to support individuals and groups working to achieve racial equity.