The following have been taken from Insight Into Participatory Video: A handbook for the field, written by Nick and Chris Lunch, 2006. Published by Insight. (Find this publication under DME Documents.)
Participatory Video (PV) is a set of techniques to involve a group or community in shaping and creating their own film. The idea behind this is that making a video is easy and accessible, and is a great way of bringing people together to explore issues, voice concerns or simply to be creative and tell stories. This process can be very empowering, enabling a group or community to take action to solve their own problems and also to communicate their needs and ideas to decision-makers and/or other groups and communities. As such, PV can be a highly effective tool to engage and mobilize marginalized people and to help them implement their own forms of sustainable development based on local needs.
Insight has its own YouTube channel that allows you to view PV from around the world. Insight's YouTube channel is located at: http://www.youtube.com/Insightshare
Nick and Chris Lunch were recently interviewed as part of OneWorldTV's series focusing on pioneering individuals and organizations using video as a tool for social change.
How Does It Work
- Participants (men, women and youth) rapidly learn how to use video equipment through games and exercises.
- Facilitators help groups to identify and analyze important issues in their community by adapting a range of Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA)- type tools with PV techniques (for example, social mapping, action search, prioritizing, etc. See ‘Chambers’ in Appendix 7, References).
- Short videos and messages are directed and filmed by the participants.
- Footage is shown to the wider community at daily screenings.
- A dynamic process of community-led learning, sharing and exchange is set in motion.
- Completed films can be used to promote awareness and exchange between various different target groups. Insight has worked with pastoralists, farmers, marginalized communities and youth in rural and urban settings, street children, refugees and asylum seekers,people with mental health problems, learning difficulties and physical disabilities (see Part Five, Case Studies). PV films or video messages can be used to strengthen both horizontal communication (e.g. communicating with other communities) and vertical communication (e.g. communicating with decision-makers).
Tichezerane AIDS Support Group Participatory Video
What Does PV Offer
PV engages: Video is an attractive technological tool, which gives immediate results.
PV empowers: A rigorous but fun participatory process gives participants control over a project.
PV clarifies: Participants find their voices and focus on local issues of concern.
PV amplifies: Participants share their voices with other communities, including decision-makers.
PV catalyzes: Participants become a community, which takes further action. PV is inclusive and flexible: Insight have worked with a wide range of groups in the UK and internationally.
PV is accessible: Findings, concerns and living stories are captured by communities themselves on video; projects
can be documented and evaluated; policy information and decisions can also be transferred back to the community level through PV.
PV equips people with skills and positive attitudes: Skills developed include good group-working skills, listening skills, self-esteem building and motivation techniques; PV projects encourage better awareness of community, identity and place; PV develops an active role for participants in improving their quality of life.
PV disseminates good practice: A range of impressive initiatives and suggestions can be documented by those directly involved, cheaply and effectively, and shared across the country and even further abroad;policymakers can be deeply affected by powerful stories and images captured in this way at, and by, the grassroots.
Waiting for Water
Applications of PV
- Marginalised social group to wider community: showing a PV film made by one group and using as a tool to stimulate discussion and participation among other groups in society. Participants may want to conduct filmed interviews to gauge reactions among the audience and record feedback. Facilitators can use such screenings to identify and congregate new groups to work with using the same PV methods.
- Community to community: produced films shown to other communities and used as a tool to inspire and initiate same process of analysis and local action in the second community. Spreading impacts of the work and "PV strikes me as especially well suited to enabling rural people, after only a little training and at moderate cost, to create vivid accounts of their own experience. Very suitable for sharing with their counterparts elsewhere in the country or even abroad." Claire Milne, ICT Telecoms Consultant awareness raising, but also a chance to bring in new groups, highlight differences as well as similarities.
- Community to community PV exchange visits: introducing PV into this process as a tool for wider sharing, equitable exchange and team building (i.e. focusing on a shared task and having fun together!). Exchange visits can be costly and usually only benefit a handful of community members, with PV the learning and exchange can be documented enabling the wider community and other communities to benefit from the exchange.
- Policy to community PV visits: as with the community to community PV exchange visits above, but getting policymakers to the field. This can be difficult to arrange and maybe only one or two individuals can be prized out of their offices! A policymaker sharing a PV documentation task with the community members can be a good way to equalize relationships. They will have fun together and create something which the policymaker can show to his/her network of colleagues and superiors.
- Facilitating multi-stakeholder workshops using PV: A means of getting different groups together on a more equal footing, empowering populations who feel uncomfortable in a workshop setting, or are illiterate. Community members present their films and these become the starting point for discussion and group work which is all documented using PV tools rather than written notes. This also allows the workshop outcomes to be shared widely among communities, personal and professional networks of the workshop participants and the general public (if relevant).
- Campaigns: PV has tremendous potential to bring out personal stories to support campaigns and build understanding and consensus in potentially fraught situations. Decision-makers may respond better to the voices of people on the ground than to organizations, academics or activists campaigning on their behalf. Participatory videos are raw, direct and show a fuller picture of what is at stake.
- Participatory Research: Generate knowledge, initiate local action, raise awareness, monitor and spread widely.
- Community-led Research: Assist groups in the target communities to carry out their own research using the video as a tool for them to document local knowledge and ideas, as well as generate new knowledge and fresh solutions. Local people’s findings can be included in multimedia reports and publications, bringing their authorship into the process and developing a synthesis of local and scientific knowledge.
- Participatory Monitoring & Evaluation: Using video rather than an attitudes survey to look at progress during the research can put the community in control. It is visual and accessible to all. It allows the community to highlight issues and areas of interest that we could not necessarily conceive of as outsiders. Things emerge from the films they produce that open up new lines of enquiry and can also help shape the kinds of quantifiable questions partners focus on.
- Sharing Best Practices: The groups involved can document and communicate their achievements in their own words. The use of PV to collect and share the best practices and lessons learned. Often while collecting the lessons learned staff and experts obtain the information from the project implementing parties and having analyzed such information they may then prepare the manuals and adjust the vision expressed by the local communities while looking at such data from their own professional perspective. When receiving the project outcomes and developments, NGOs and local communities may have difficulty to fully understand the essence of the project outcomes. The use of PV can enable people to have a virtual interaction with their colleagues from other villages. While watching video material they obtain the information directly without the "university" filter of the professionals."
Participatory Video made by semi-nomadic shepherds of Kazakhstan.