Participatory & Collaborative Visual Storytelling:Strengthening Community Voice for Social Action
Welcome to my WikiSpace highlighting the participatory and collaborative visual storytelling projects I've been involved with since 2008. It is my sincere hope that each project has benefited those involved toward being able to engage in social action. I also hope that the learnings from each encounter can add to a body of knowledge on how to use visual storytelling with video and photography for social and political change. As you read about the projects I've engaged with, it is vital to understand that each visual storytelling endeavor was developed for that specific context. For social action to occur, it is my sincere belief that any replication of the methodologies shared through my experiences needs to begin from a place of dialogue and active listening with a sincere goal of response to the concerns raised by the community groups you are supporting.

Currently, I am focused on deepening my understanding of participatory video praxis and citizen voice through PhD studies at the University of Queensland's Centre for Communications for Social Change. Here, I am specifically exploring how participatory video can enable citizen voice in the context of international development



Story-driven participatory video with mobile technology in Gugulethu, South Africa
Read about the Case Study (including videos and facilitation guidance) blog: Can participatory video bring transformative change? Perhaps.

Our Valuable Voices: Community Digital Storytelling in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam
Our Valuable Voices Case Study --- Technical Guide from CARE

Short Films for Social Change in Brisbane, Australia. Postgraduate students from the
University of Queensland Participatory Media course -- taught by myself and Grady Walker --
showcase their films for insight & discussion:


Participatory video and citizen voice – We’ve raised their voices: is anyone listening? Glocal Times. No 22/23 (2015). Pages 1-16. Journal article

Participatory video for citizen mobilisation in South Africa. Media Development 2015/3. Pages 3/1-5. Journal article

Interrogating Practitioner Tensions for Raising Citizen Voice with Participatory Video in International Development. Nordicom Review. 36 (2015) Special Issue, pp. 57-70. Journal article

Chapter 4 - Fostering Social Change through Participatory Video: A Conceptual Framework:
The Handbook of Participatory Video

Using visual storytelling for women's empowerment. Media Development, 2013 3: 25-29. Journal article


September 2014: PhD research presentation on VOICE and PARTICIPATORY VIDEO at Orecom Voice and Matter conference in Sweden via Skype: - Go to 1:09:30. (20 minutes)

September 2014: C4D Network Talk: Communication for Good Development: - Go to :24:00 (20 minutes)

June 14, 2013 - UQ Talk - Plan Vietnam 'Best Practice' Case Study:

Video Interview from CBA6 (2012) - My thoughts on PV

PROJECTS 2008-2012 (pre-PhD pursuit):

Nepal - PV & Disaster Risk Reduction through Schools (DRRS)

  • Participatory Action Research / Practice
  • Children in a Changing Climate; ActionAid Nepal; Institute of Development Studies (2008-2009)
  • Role: Lead Researcher; PV Facilitator
Nepal.jpgUsing Participatory Video to amplify children's voices on adaptation. Children and women from Nepal produced plays about climate change impacts and adaptation solutions. The project showed that PV can be an appropriate and viable tool to support children and women in their efforts to adapt to climate change. It can help demystify climate change as an incomprehensible scientific subject by linking it to the day-to-day challenges children and women face. When they can analyze their own situations, they learn and internalise the impacts and solutions. Mobilisation for adaptation support becomes their right and a cornerstone for advocacy, which they can address through filmmaking.

Kenya & Mozambique - Adaptation Learning Programme for Africa (ALP)

  • Practice
  • CARE International; CARE Kenya; ALP (2010-2012)
  • Role: PV Design; PV Facilitator (Train-the-Trainer model of CARE staff; local journalists)
In 2011-2012, CARE worked with local journalists and women, elder men and young men in Kenya, Niger, Ghana and Mozambique to share their stories about how climate change impacts them, and how they are coping. These digital photo stories are being used for community awareness-raising about climate change impacts; to understand and monitor change through the ALP programme over time; and for advocacy. They are integral to CARE's process of working with communities in setting priorities, and developing and monitoring adaptation strategies. I trained CARE staff and journalists in Kenya and Mozambique, and have supported a guide that will be published in 2014.

Vietnam - Building Child-Centred Disaster Resilient Communities

  • Practice
  • Plan Vietnam (2010)
  • Role: PV Design; PV Facilitator (Train-the-Trainer model of Plan staff; local filmmakers)
Participatory Video was used within this project to:
- Increase reflection and dialogue between children and other community members (children, ethnic minorities and the wider community) about how climate change and natural disasters are affecting them and how they might address these issues both internally and with external support.
- To build capacity and empower the children to learn, voice their opinions and effect change.
- To increase dialogue between children, community members and [[#|local]] authorities regarding their role in reducing risks and how to move forwards.
- To provide education on engaging/new forms of documentation of the issues being discussed by the [[#|local]] groups in relation to climate related risks and hazards. This documentation can be used at different levels to stimulate reflection by a number of child rights actors and climate change and disaster risk management actors on the linkages to advocacy and awareness raising.
- To explore forms of communication from the community level upwards on the issue of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction.
- To document elaboration of the process (beyond the making of the video) and to share with related Governmental and non-Governmental agencies.

Plan International Video: Our Climate, Our Future - PV in Cambodia, Indonesia, Philippines

'Our Climate, Our Future' is a recent project in which children are using film to examine the impact of climate change on their communities. Backed by Plan, young people from Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines learned how to map the risks facing their communities and make their own films to highlight these issues and bring about change.

Cambodia - Climate Change Adaptation & Child Rights

  • Research & Practice
  • Plan Cambodia; Institute of Development Studies (2010)
  • Role: PV Design; PV Co-facilitator (Train-the-Facilitator model of Plan staff)
'Investigating a Child’s Right to Adaptation' was a year-long project coordinated by the Institute of Development Studies, conducted in collaboration with Plan International in Cambodia and Kenya. The PV component was initiated within the project to investigate the potential role of PV as a research and/or advocacy tool for working with children on climate change and DRR in Cambodia. The project aimed to provide explore with Plan staff ways of enabling children to develop their own messages and stories on their lives, their ideas for adaptation and their DRR/CCA activities, alongside a research process exploring how children are claiming their rights on issues relating to climate-resilience building.

Indonesia & Philippines - DRR & CC

  • Research & Practice
  • Plan Indonesia; Plan Philippines; Friends of Nature; Plan International
  • Role: PV Technical Advisor (minimal, Skype-based role in overall process)

PV Projects that Explain & Inspire

The number of Participatory Video projects in development is growing, which lends itself to both positive and (unfortunately) harmful practice. PV is a hybrid of process, method and product. As such, great care needs to be taken during every step to ensure the videos truly benefit the people who make them. In my PV journey, I have met researchers and practitioners who both educate and inspire me along my PV journey. This page thus includes videos and projects that explain and inspire my thinking of PV, and I feel fortunate to learn from their production. It is a small list now, but that is only a reflection of my limited time rather than the meaningful uses of participatory video that are out there. I will work to expand this section during my PhD research.

Traditional Video Projects - Video Work for CARE

In addition to PV work, I've been involved in the production of traditional videos with CARE as writer, producer, filmmaker, editor, etc. Click here to see people around the world using their Powerful Hands with CARE to address global poverty.