Photo of Jackie Shaw, Research Fellow in the Participation research cluster

Jackie Shaw - Research Fellow


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Jackie Shaw’s expertise lies in the use of visual methods to structure and mediate participatory action research, community development and social learning processes.

Jackie is a skilled participatory facilitator, project leader, senior lecturer, international consultant and multi-disciplinary social researcher, with more than thirty years experience in a wide range of community, development, and health contexts. From 1984 she pioneered participatory video practice both as founding director of Real Time, a leading UK exponent, and co-author of Participatory Video (1997) the first definitive guide.

Her work has prioritised collaborations with the most marginalised and disadvantaged communities, such as people living in poverty, refugees, people with disabilities and mental-ill-health, elderly people, vulnerable women, sexual minorities and homeless people. Jackie has provided tailored practitioner training and accompaniment input for professional groups, NGOs and communities in the UK and internationally since 1990.

She has taught qualitative and quantitative research methods for 20 years, including leading innovative action research and reflective practice assignments. She has also contributed to Masters courses at LSE in Health, Community and Development, Health Communications and Critical approaches to Development Communications for the Social Psychology and Media and Communication departments, and for the University of Reading’s Video and Development Masters.

As a leading contributor to growing criticality in the field, Jackie has influenced international practice. Her PhD built nuanced understanding of the tensions of participatory video in context, and she has extended methodology to address ethical risks and to drive longer-term and iteratively evolving processes. The purpose is to work towards increased influence for excluded groups.

As convenor of the Participate visual methods programme (2012-14) she 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. Following this she worked with Reality Check Indonesia (2014-15) to integrate video dairies, participatory video processes, and policy influencing production in their work.

Prior to working at IDS Jackie was a Research Associate in the Politics, Development and Sustainability Group at RHUL developing research on pathways towards social accountability. Her current research focuses on how visual processes can evolve to build more inclusive and equitable relationships within and across communities and between marginalised groups’ and influential decision makers.

English; Chinese; Bulgarian (conversational)

In a context of unprecedented investment in natural resource developments, this project bridges the social sciences, the humanities and community-based participatory research to ask how different ‘communities’ of actors ‘see’ and experience resource conflicts in Kenya and Madagascar. We use social science alongside a variety of participatory multimedia methods to open up conflict research to more diverse framings and voices, which can offer new insights on the drivers of resource conflict and pathways to peace.

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IDS publications on international development research

Emergent Ethics in Participatory Video: Negotiating the Inherent Tension as Group Processes Evolve

Area 48.4 (2016)

Community practitioner-researchers are enthusiastic about participatory video's potential in opening space for new relational dynamics to evolve across difference, yet in practice this involves much negotiation and often conflicting agendas. This paper reflects on the outcomes of research into the approach of Real Time, a UK-based participatory video project provider. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Re-grounding Participatory Video within Community Emergence Towards Social Accountability

Community Development Journal 50.4 (2015)

This article frames participatory video predominately as a means for participatory representation. It draws on its use by acutely marginalized communities in Kenya and Palestine to research the local enablers and barriers of change, and explores how such processes can contribute to community-driven development. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Participatory Video: A Practical Guide to Using Video Creatively in Group Development Work

Participatory Video is a comprehensive guide to using video in group development work. Based on an innovative approach researched over twelve years, the book sets out a complete programme for workers in a range of settings, and features over 60 exercises, explaining clearly the procedure to follow, the time needed and the value of each activity. More details

Thematic Expertise:
Disability and Development; Gender; Health; Migration; Participatory methodologies; Poverty; Reducing Inequalities.

Geographic Expertise:
Bulgaria; China; India; Indonesia; Kenya; Nepal; Palestinian Territory; United Kingdom.