Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Participatory video - an effective evaluation tool

Trainees appraise the P3DM process using "PV"

SCARBOROUGH, 14 October 2012  The volume of information to be collected from informants on their natural resources, climate change impacts and the measures they use to cope or adapt to these impacts, is best dealt with using a video camera, said Kathrina Collins, President of the Union Island Environmental Attackers from St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Trainees appraise the P3DM process using "PV"
Katrina recalled that learning how to use the video camera supplied by CANARI for the participatory video (PV) exercise was a lot of fun, but she was more comfortable while working on the participatory 3D model of Tobago.  Katrina was one of the regional trainees who participated in the 14-day workshop which led to the manufacture of the first participatory 3D model (P3DM) to be created in the Caribbean.

Damika Marshall, Environmental Officer from the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) who was another trainee, said that PV was used to highlight the lessons learnt from the P3DM process and ways to make it better.  She agreed that learning to use the video equipment was enjoyable and added another dimension to the workshop.

Similar sentiments were shared by their counterparts who were divided into groups to work on the video project.  Their task was to evaluate the P3DM process using video.

The team captured footage highlighting Tobago’s natural resources, peoples’ dependence and relation to the resource base, the process of making the 3D model, and the views and opinions of stakeholders involved in the process.

Desiree Sampson, a professional videographer, briefed the trainees on the concept of "five W’s and one H" otherwise known as “the six helpers”.  Each letter representing a question that has to be answered for the story to be considered complete: who, what, where, when, why and how.  This approach is used as the basis for gathering information when doing research and gathering news.
The trainees interviewed stakeholders to find out their experiences on climate change impacts, exploring exactly what happened, when it happened, where it took place and why it happened.  They also conducted interviews among the group of trainees to capture their feedback on the model building process.

Katrina Collins, Candice Ramkissoon, and
Shawnaly Pascal download and view
footage collected during the workshop
The trainees were also shown how to develop and use a storyboard to guide production.  A storyboard is a set of graphic images laid out in particular sequence to tell a story.  Each participant contributed ideas to create the storyboard.

As with each activity at the workshop, there was a daily review of the daily achievements.  Damika said that every evening the footage shot during the day was viewed by the trainees and facilitators.  The team assessed its visual quality and content value for selection and incorporation in the final video production.  In some cases, the team decided that some interviews had to be redone and footage captured again to improve the quality.

Lessons learnt

All the trainees said that using the video equipment to capture the stories was a great idea.  Damika felt that using a video to tell a story is quite an effective way for sharing ideas and experiences with the community since “not everyone can read or understand a lengthy written report or has the time or inclination to do so”.  She however added that policy makers would need more than a video to make decisions regarding climate change and to understand the ramifications of their policies.

Kemba Jaramogi captures footage of an informant adding
details to the model, while Kenn Mondiai, P3DM expert
looks on.
Kemba Jaramogi from Trinidad said the video cameras used were small and as a result, not intimidating to interviewees.  She also said that the equipment was relatively inexpensive.

Kemba however noted that cost should not be the only consideration before purchasing this type of equipment.  “The quality [of footage] it produces is an important factor”, she said.

In summary, the trainees from across the Caribbean found the PV activity quite interesting.  They said that the production of a video for evaluation purposes was an interesting learning experience and at the same time, videography was an effective way for capturing and documenting the impact of climate change on communities through the eyes of the grassroots.

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