Journal Article


Re-grounding Participatory Video within Community Emergence Towards Social Accountability

Published on 4 September 2015

To achieve the transformational shift towards social accountability highlighted by UN post-2015 deliberations, more equitable and responsive relationships are necessary between marginalized communities and leaders. Of particular relevance to the sustainable development goal era is the need to build both local collective dynamics and longer-term exchange between excluded groups and state agencies as the foundation for accountable governance.

Over the last decade, there has been a rapid expansion in the use of participatory video to unearth neglected perspectives, and transform communication dynamics within communities and across social levels, but it is only recently that claims of real-world influence have been interrogated critically.

This article frames participatory video predominately as the means for participatory representation makes the curtailment of transformative social possibilities more likely. It re-grounds participatory video as a longer-term relational process (the means) towards community emergence (the consequence), in reference to key social psychological components.

It draws on the use of participatory video by acutely marginalized communities in Kenya and Palestine to research the local enablers and barriers of change. Through exploring the possibilities and constraints in context it reflects on what such processes can contribute to community-driven development and how the key tensions can be negotiated.

Looking ahead to SDGs, this raises key questions about the challenges faced in building longer-term accountability between the poorest and most marginalized groups and influential decision makers who can support them.


Jackie Shaw

Research Fellow

Publication details

Shaw, J.
Community Development Journal, volume 50, issue 4


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