Participatory Video Processes: building inclusive engagement and community-led change

Monday 11 September 2017 - Friday 15 September 2017 10:00 to 17:00
IDS Convening Space

Learn how to use participatory video to support community-led change, in an ethical and contextualized way.  This course develops practical skills in planning and running extended participatory video projects. Participatory video involves ethical questions, tensions and trade-offs when applied in the real world, and the course will discuss how to address these ethical issues and tailor video making more effectively to context.

Image for PV Short Course information on IDS website. This image was co-constructed by Real Time working with local participants and participatory research group (PRG) partners. This was part of the Participate Initiative, Institute for Development Studies, UK.

This unique five-day course takes place at IDS this autumn. It is run by Jackie Shaw and Clive Robertson who have over 30 years of expertise as consultants, trainers and facilitators of participatory video. They have worked and taught in a wide variety of UK and international community and development contexts. To ensure quality teaching time and hands-on practice, participant numbers are limited to ten.

Teaching Approach

The course uses a participatory training approach that responds to the interests and needs of the course participants, and builds on their previous experiences. Participants will come to the course with ideas for a participatory video project. This project will form the basis for producing a participatory video project plan and help ground the learning process. Following the course each participant will also be offered a Skype follow-up to support them as they put their plan into practice.

The course sessions use active learning and reflection to develop both equipment operation skills and knowledge of participatory video exercises and activities. Learning is driven by team-work and by builds on the ideas, knowledge and previous experiences of group members.

Teaching relies heavily on real-world case studies to prompt discussion and deepen understanding of the potential and difficulties of participatory video. Participants will work in small groups to consider how to best maximise the possibilities of participatory video, to anticipate and negotiate the key tensions and challenges, and to be supported in grounding their new understanding through planning their own projects for particular settings.

More details about the course and what you will learn are available here.

Who should apply?

The course welcomes participants from a wide audience of policy makers, practitioners, researchers, project managers and others who are already using, or who wish to learn how to use, participatory video. It will be tailored to a mix of beginners and those with previous participatory video experiences. Numbers will be limited to a maximum of ten.


The course is taught in English. Participants should be proficient in English at an intermediate standard or higher (or an IELTS score of 6 or above).

Teaching staff

Jackie Shaw, Research Fellow with the Participation cluster at IDS, is expert in the use of visual methods to structure and drive participatory action research and community empowerment processes. From 1984 she pioneered participatory video practice both as co-founding director of Real Time, a leading UK participatory video organisation and author of Participatory Video, (Shaw and Robertson, 1997). Her work since then has prioritised the most marginalised communities, such as people living in poverty, refugees, people with disabilities and mental-health issues, elderly people, vulnerable women and homeless people. She has worked with partners in India, the Palestinian West Bank, Kenya and the Philippines to bring the reality of poverty to UN decision makers during post-2015 deliberations.

She regularly provides participatory video training and consultancy input in community, development, health and research contexts. Her current research focuses on how videoing processes can build more inclusive and equitable relationships and contribute to social accountability.

Clive Robertson is co-founder and current Director of Real Time, and co-author of Participatory Video. An experienced film maker, trainer and producer with a comprehensive understanding of video and digital media, he specialises in using video in community settings, particularly with marginalised and hard-to-reach groups. This includes using video interactively to support community action, linking participatory processes and collaborative film making to ensure authenticity.

Clive has worked with many partner organisations in educational, statutory, corporate and voluntary sectors with over 30 years experience in the independent and NGO sector. He is experienced in delivering a wide variety of high quality video and media projects in the UK and internationally.

Recently Clive directed the documentary 'Work with Us' for the Participate Initiative, collaborating with groups from seven countries to explore their stories and messages and communicate them to decision makers. He is currently working on participatory video and digital advocacy projects in the UK with homeless groups and young people with disabilities.

Course fee

The course costs £1950. The fee covers tuition fees, course materials, lunches, refreshments and two group dinners. It does not cover accommodation, insurance or travel costs.

Application process

The deadline for applications is 3 July 2017. Applications can be made by completing the online application form. If you are not able to complete the online application form you can request a paper copy.

We will notify applicants in the week of 19 July 2017. Successful applicants will receive details of how to pay the course fees and complete the booking form. Places on the course are not guaranteed until fees have been received and the booking form completed.

Applicants will receive confirmation of their place in the course, and a letter to support their visa application (if required), once the fees have been paid.

Please read the Terms and Conditions before applying.

For more information about the course please contact Richard Douglass

IDS is accredited by the British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education as a Short Course Provider.

Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, BN1 9RE, UK.