Participatory Video (PV) is a participatory research tool that involves the alternative application of video technology in research for development projects to include members of a community in the process of creating their own video, while considering elements of their livelihoods and the necessary approaches to bring about desired changes. Aside from being an accessible way to bring people together to explore issues and voice concerns, PV is an effective tool to engage and mobilize marginalized communities, allowing them to share knowledge and learning experiences, and helping them to implement their own forms of sustainable development based on local needs.
The Learning Alliance initiative conducted in the Humidtropics Nicanorte Action Site provides an effective platform to explore the use of ICTs and participatory methodologies with rural youth and women, to develop a series of tools and products that can be replicated in other Humidtropics Flagship Projects. PV is a promising cross-cutting initiative to explore the potential of inclusive youth and gender components, and transformation processes stemming from learning experiences at community level.
Important site-specific themes that surface during the process to strengthen ongoing research include community leadership (including leadership roles of young women in community initiatives), the value of knowledge and learning, natural resource management as a catalyst for development, and the role of rural youth in the future of agriculture, as perceived by themselves and by older generations.
The methodology is designed to simultaneously empower rural women and youth to engage in learning activities and voice their stories and opinions, while they gain confidence in their abilities to acquire new skills and think creatively in regards to innovative problem-solving. Meanwhile, innovation capacities are strengthened as the conditions are created for small farmers, women, and youth to gain confidence in their ability to succeed at new activities and improve existing local knowledge and practices.
Developing a crosscutting PV methodology contributes to the Humidtropics development enabling goals, ensuring that elements of innovation and gender and youth are effectively mainstreamed in the design and implementation of interventions across the Program’s Action Areas and beyond.
Watch the video made by 12 young women farmers in Esteli, Nicaragua on the theme of “Empowerment of rural women”:
Funded by Humidtropics, the project was conducted by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), with collaboration from the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), and the local Fundacion Entre Mujeres (FEM).
Blog by Shadi Azadegan, Communication Specialist, Central America and the Caribbean, CIAT. Photos by Manon Koningstein/CCAFS, and Shadi Azadegan/CIAT.