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Four Baskets Field Guide For Narrative Change Practice

How do we conduct effective narrative change efforts? The Four Baskets Framework lays out four essential elements of successful narrative strategies.

There are many different disciplines and lineages that have a key role to play in narrative change work. But with so many diverse practices, it can be difficult to know where to start.

The Four Baskets model breaks down four key capacities that practitioners should include when designing projects and considering the allocation of resources. We call these capacities “baskets” because they “hold” a variety of different practices and methods that can be used for each step along the way. The idea behind this framework isn’t that there is one right way to do narrative change work, but instead that as practitioners we should think about how to plan and balance the various steps in the process, drawing on different disciplines and approaches as needed to meet our goals.

This field guide provides an overview of each of the four baskets and provides some illustrative (and by no means exhaustive!) examples of different approaches being used by practitioners. It was developed by our Rachel Weidinger, our Program Director, during our narrative change project with Our Minnesota Future.

We hope it helps you spot elements of the four baskets in the wild…and to plot more effective narrative shift campaigns.

Resource Metadata


  • Narrative Change 101


  • Guide

Related Narrative Initiative Project


Produced by

  • Narrative Initiative

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Four Baskets Self Assessment

The four baskets framework is designed to help practitioners consider different elements of a successful narrative change effort. This self-assessment can be used¬† to reflect on work you’ve already got under way or to start planning a new project.

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Building Narrative Infrastructure in Minnesota

A report on Narrative Initiative’s state strategy to support emergent narrative change infrastructure in Minnesota that includes what we learned as well as recommendations for practitioners and funders.

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