Past Event

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

From 18 Jun 2018 10:00 until 22 Jun 2018 17:00

Institute of Development Studies
University of Sussex, Library Road, Falmer,

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.

Why attend?

Learn how to use participatory video to drive and mediate participatory and community-led change, in an ethical and contextualized way.

This course develops practical skills in planning and delivering iterative and nuanced participatory video projects that help to foster collaboration and generate reflection, dialogue and insights into local and structural opportunities for social change.

It’s focus on meaningful, ethical and extended engagement throughout the participatory process differentiates the course from other participatory video trainings that approach participatory video simply as a group-filmmaking method for short-term engagement.

Participatory video involves ethical questions, tensions and trade-offs when applied in the real world, and the course will discuss how to address these issues and tailor video-making and playback more effectively to context.

The course is run by Jackie Shaw and Clive Robertson who have over 30 years of expertise as co-founders of Real Time and authors of the pioneering methods guide Participatory Video. It extends IDS’ rich history in the use, spread and critique of participatory methodologies, by incorporating Jackie’s critical thinking on how to develop the approach more ethically and effectively.

To ensure quality teaching time and hands-on practice, participant numbers are limited to ten.

Who is the course for?

We welcome participants from diverse backgrounds including policymakers, practitioners, researchers, project managers and others who are already using, or who wish to learn how to use, participatory video. The course will be tailored to a mix of beginners and those with previous participatory video experiences.

Learning outcomes

Having completed the course, participants can expect to:

  • Have a solid understanding of the theory and practice of participatory video, including the advantages and limitations of different participatory video applications and approaches, and its role in building pathways to accountability.
  • Understand the different communication purposes and audiences engaged through participatory video at different stages.
  • Know the basic video production skills, and narrative and visual story-telling processes needed to facilitate participatory video processes.
  • Know what to consider when structuring and organising a participatory video project.
  • Recognise the key risks, dynamic tensions and practical challenges of applying participatory video in community contexts, and develop strategies to respond to these challenges at all stages of the participatory video process.
  • Have a tool-box of different participatory video exercises to draw on at different project stages, and the confidence to facilitate them with groups.
  • Understand the differences between in-camera editing and non-linear editing, and when they are appropriate.

How will you learn?

The course uses a participatory training approach that responds to the interests and needs of the course participants, and builds on their previous experiences. Both equipment operation skills and knowledge of participatory video exercises and activities are developed in parallel through active learning and reflection. Learning is facilitated through team-work and by drawing on and building the ideas, knowledge and previous experiences of group members.

Teaching is informed by real-world case studies to prompt discussion and deepen understanding of the potential and difficulties of participatory video. Participants 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.

Participants will come to the course with ideas for a participatory video project. This project forms the basis for producing a participatory video project plan and helps ground the learning process. Following the course each participant is offered a Skype follow-up call to support them as they put their plan into practice.

Teaching team

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 has always 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, and her academic research has built nuanced and critical understanding of practice.

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.

Entry requirements

The course is taught in English. To derive the maximum benefit from the course, participants should be proficient in English and able to take an active part in discussions. Your English needs to be of an intermediate standard or higher; participants must have an International English Language Test System (IELTS) score of 6.5 or above, or a Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR)score of B2 or above.

Course fees

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.

Once you have received confirmation that your application has been approved, the fee must be paid in full before the course commences. There are no bursaries available. IDS Alumni may be eligible for a discount.

How to apply

Before applying please read our Terms and Conditions (pdf).

The application procedure is a three-stage process:

Stage 1: Apply by completing the online application form (via the link at the top of this page). Deadline for applications is 25 February 2018.

Stage 2: You will be notified by 11 March 2018 as to whether your application has been approved or not. Successful applicants will receive the Stage 2 application form and an invoice for the course fee. Places on the course are not guaranteed until fees have been received.

Stage 3: Once fees have been received, you will be sent confirmation of your place on the course and a letter to support your visa application (if required).

You are responsible for organising your own travel and visas (where needed). Information about local accommodation will be provided by the course coordinator once your fees have been processed. A limited number of study bedrooms at IDS are available for rent on a first come first served basis.

For more information about the course please contact Richard Douglass

It was a wonderful learning experience, well-shaped and considered, offering moments to be challenged, to introspect and to plan.  I leave with much to bring to my work and my colleagues.” Participatory Action Research course participant, 2017

Find out more about all of our world-class postgraduate degrees and professional development programmes that enable individuals and organisations to build the skills and knowledge needed for more equitable and sustainable development globally.

Image credit: Jackie Shaw / IDS

Key contacts

Leah Plati

Programme Officer (MA) Programme Manager (Short Courses)


+44 (0)1273 915832


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