The legacy and sustainability of Participatory Video

Another field visit has passed like the wind. It left rich learning behind for all of us: for you and me. It’s been a pleasure really to hear local facilitators in Guyana, Cameroon, South Africa and the Philippines reflect on the legacy and sustainability of Participatory Video in their communities, alongside Jay Mistry from Royal Holloway University of London and Chris Lunch from InsightShare.

In case you missed the web gathering, here you can listen to the main room, which includes a Q&A breakout session with Jay, and here you can access the Q&A breakout session with Chris.

What did we learn about Legacy & Sustainability from each case study?

COBRA – EU-funded project working with indigenous groups in the Guiana Shield of South America, looking to identify and share community-owned solutions to natural resource management.

  • Trained local researchers in Guyana
  • Indigenous researchers worked in their own communities
  • Guyana team and EU team trained others in Surinam, French Guyana, Brazil, Venezuela and Colombia
  • PV team in Guyana employed under the local partner: North Rupununi District Development Board (NRDDB)

Sustainability – 5 key ingredients for maintenance, support, survival:

  1. It’s crucial the role of local facilitators
  2. Commitment of local facilitators to make things happen despite difficulties (like power cuts during the web gathering!)
  3. Long-term engagement with the community to generate trust & ownership. Jay has worked in the area for 15 years and since 2007 with some of the local PV team members.
  4. Local partner with long-term relationship with the community and interest in PV.
  5. Plans for the future: test social enterprise model; train other community members through a course in the local school; support NRDDB to integrate PV in their work.

Legacy – 5 benefits provided to the community; benefits for future generations:

  1. Young people engaged
  2. Bridged inter-generational gap
  3. Passed PV on to other communities and countries!
  4. Shared community-owned solutions across communities and countries to inspire others
  5. Handbook published introducing key concepts and techniques which underpin a participatory and systems approach to community engagement.

“We as a team here are prepared to take it forward and share our skills, knowledge and train more of our people.” Lakeram, Guyana.

The Future in Guyana includes community radio, participatory video and photography integrated into the community development activities.

InsightShare – 200 projects and 15 years of experience delivering Participatory Video projects and capacity building, aiming at long-term legacy and sustainability.

  • Intention to maximise the energy of a small team so interventions have the deepest impact possible
  • Start of the journey: PV projects facilitated by InsightShare team directly with communities
  • How do we get passed that? 3-stage Capacity building model developed in the last 10 years.
  • Who becomes a facilitator? Essential to include community members as part of trainings and not just NGO staff for local continuity
  • Community-owned Hubs: capacity building only at community level

Listen to Messe from Cameroon; Nevile, Hylton and Tami from South Africa; and Keidy from the Philippines talking about their experiences.

Sustainability – 5 key ingredients for maintenance, support, survival:

  1. Raising funds locally to buy equipment in Cameroon and South Africa.
  2. Generation of funds using PV products as part of campaigns in the Philippines.
  3. Ongoing challenge: fundraising & income generation in South Africa.
  4. 3 models: social enterprise (South Africa), unit in a large indigenous NGO (Philippines), PV as umbrella approach in a small indigenous NGO (Cameroon)
  5. Fellowship model: Keidy from the Philippines becoming InsightShare Associate.

Legacy – 5 benefits provided to the community; benefits for future generations:

  1. Increased engagement of community members and external stakeholders in Cameroon and dialogue across communities in the Philippines.
  2. Accountability a reality: teachers attendance in Cameroon and water provision in South Africa.
  3. PV acting as overall umbrella of programming in Cameroon and South Africa and in advocacy campaigns in the Philippines.
  4. Increased youth engagement in Cameroon, South Africa and the Philippines.
  5. Pass it on: training others to create a snowball effect in the Philippines.

“PV allowed us to build solid relationships even at the government level.” Messe, Cameroon.

The Future at InsightShare includes training fellows who are already change makers in their communities to add PV to their toolbox; publications, webinars and training to feed into the global PV movement; and a PV app to lower the entry level to PV and allow a self-initiated process by a group.

A fascinating field trip for me and hopefully for you as well! Send us your feedback to

Soledad Muñiz

This post was first published at Better PV Practice blog.

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