Seven lessons: Participatory Video for Most Significant Change

This post was originally published on InsightShare’s blog. For more on their participatory video work see, or read my reactions to their participatory video training back in 2013 here.

Photo: Ingrid Guyon

Laptops banned. No notebooks allowed. For those of us who like to write everything down, the instructions for the latest InsightShare course on Participatory Video for Most Significant Change were a bit daunting. How would I remember it all?

Fortunately, visualisation (lots of drawing, arranging of keywords and mind maps) and experiential learning (going through the process ourselves as participants) helps it stick. Here’s what I learned:


1. “Most Significant Change” sounds a bit fluffy, but it’s actually a recognised evaluation technique.

Participatory monitoring and evaluation means that those affected by (and those affecting) a programme are involved in the process of assessing what worked. Together the group negotiates and agrees how to measure progress. Continue reading “Seven lessons: Participatory Video for Most Significant Change”

Blisters and early mornings

Isle of Mull challenge“Do your research. Don’t be scared to try and do what you always wanted to do. Think of something really challenging”

I spent my summer months at the Mark Evison Foundation helping with their first proper evaluation of their youth programmes; the quote above was one response to the question “What would your advice be to future applicants?” (though it could apply to life in general…).

Anecdotally, the trustees knew there’d been tangible benefits of the foundation’s work – i.e. encouraging young people to plan personal challenges and funding the most motivated teams or individuals to see those challenges through. But, now in their fifth year of giving awards and with plans to expand, they needed something more concrete than anecdotal evidence or the excited emails we got from some of the award-winners returning from their trips.

Two focus groups, dozens of questionnaires, and millions of email reminders later, we got our data (the full report is here). What did we learn? Continue reading “Blisters and early mornings”

Making workshops work: Film & photo in Kazo

ConcentrationI’d had my doubts: I have no qualifications in youth work, nor do I have years of filmmaking/photography experience. “’If you can’t – teach’… eh??” remarked some guy I met in London, the week before leaving – and I wondered if he was right. Maybe I was being totally irresponsible.

But – with a first full ‘participatory photo/video’ project behind me, with young people in Kazo, Uganda – I’m glad I stuck with my instincts. Of course, the doubts didn’t disappear (for a blow-by-blow account, see here) – but I know a few people learned something. As for me, here’s what I learned. Continue reading “Making workshops work: Film & photo in Kazo”