Participatory Video: Capturing community perspectives on rain water management

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Presented by Beth Cullen, Alan Duncan and Katherine Snyder at the IFWF 3rd International Forum on Water and Food, Tshwane, 16 November 2011


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Participatory Video: Capturing community perspectives on rain water management

  1. 1. Participatory Video: capturing community perspectives on Rain Water Management Beth Cullen, Alan Duncan & Katherine Snyder (Derived from PhD work by Beth Cullen) IFWF 3rd International Forum on Water & Food Tshwane, 16 November 2011
  2. 2. What is Participatory Video (PV)? Communication tool regardless of formal literacy levels. Process: empower communities and act as a catalyst for action & change. Product: community driven film that conveys issues, knowledge & perspectives
  3. 3. PV is not new!  Fogo process, ‘birth of PV’: Don Snowden, 1960s pioneered two-way flow of knowledge between community members and decision makers  PV under-documented: focus on doing rather than publishing Recent developments: 3
  4. 4. Why is PV relevant for research & development? Top-down Excludes views of those being researched/‘developed’ versus Collaborative Communicates grassroots perspectives & knowledge  PV can potentially be used to involve community members in research processes, ensure relevance & legitimacy  Bridge gaps between conventional science and IK by making different types of knowledge accessible to different audiences.
  5. 5. Participants are introduced to video camera They acquire basics through active learning Learning is equal: students become teachers Confidence gained through new skills Games encourage dialogue & sharing Additional equipment is introduced Key issues are identified using PRA Storyboards develop narratives Process aims to be fun & engaging
  6. 6. Different community views captured Participants watch & reflect on films Enables access to inaccessible areas Participation extended to editing Ensures control over the final product Films screened to wider community Feedback is gathered from range of community members Films shown to audiences including researchers & decision makers Screenings are documented to show communities their voice is heard
  7. 7. Collaborative rather than extractive Addresses research fatigue Represents Indigenous Knowledge Skills development and empowerment Peer-to-peer knowledge sharing Community analysis Influence decision makers Catalyst for action & change
  8. 8. Challenges No method is a ‘magic bullet’: must acknowledge and critically analyse strengths and weaknesses: Source: InsightShare, 2006 Danger of raising expectations: must consider long term sustainability Takes time: rushing can result in token efforts at ‘community participation’ which repeat or reaffirm existing paradigms Incentives: facilitators should ensure participants get something from the process Can be hijacked by more powerful actors whilst appearing to represent grassroots reality: requires awareness of local power dynamics People may not want to represent their knowledge/reality/point of view to others, for good reasons! In certain contexts (i.e. politically restrictive environments) it may do more harm than good.
  9. 9. Potential uses of PV within NBDC Engage communities and document local perspectives on key issues/challenges Communicate community perspectives to higher level stakeholders and researchers: link to Innovation Platforms? Facilitate collective action: encourage local innovation and take research into implementation Monitor and evaluate the process Encourage cross project and basin learning
  10. 10. Questions & Discussion How do you think PV could be applied in your own projects? What are the potential difficulties in using PV? How could PV be used to support innovation processes? 10

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