for research documentation
adoption of participatory research and learning process approaches
by all partners and IIED led to a dialogue on appropriate
forms of documentation. The choice of a medium of research
documentation that could be understood by non-literate partners
and acceptable to other audiences (including scientific researchers
and donors) was an overriding concern.
of the partner organisations in India had trained villagers
in the use of digital video technology. The experience gained
over the last three years suggested that this medium for development
communication is particularly appropriate and empowering for
village rural communities (see box 1). The universal nature
of visual literacy (as opposed to formal literacy) also means
that this medium is often relevant and appropriate in many
this background, the IIED Coordinator and partners in India
and Peru agreed that research documentation will be based
on a combination of digital video recordings and written reports
to satisfy the different needs of all actors involved in the
Video- the DDS experience in India
an organisation is committed to value people's knowledge
there is a need to explore ways in which people can
communicate with the outside world. In this effort,
literacy is not the only choice. Literacy could actually
become a constraint for non-literate people whose oral
and visual narratives are so powerful. The Deccan Development
Society has provided video and audio technologies as
a means of expression for disadvantaged rural women.
Villagers have been trained in the skills needed to
handle this media. A Community Media Trust was born
in 1998 and several videos have been produced and edited
by the barefoot video producers.
The following conclusions can be drawn from this experience:
Video can be a very effective tool for use by non-literate
rural people to express themselves and communicate
with to the outside world
Being non literate is no barrier in learning video
as a mode of expression. In addition to formal literacy
programmes, new media of expressions can be introduced.
Non literate women can turn into excellent videographers.
Their traditional narrative and pictorial understanding
of the world around them can find wonderful expression
in the videos made by them.
Trainers who have a long experience in training professional
television practitioners in the Afro Asian region,
were struck by the ease and quickness with which non
literate women were able to learn and use video. In
many cases they started wondering whether literacy
is after all a barrier in learning this new media
their ability to understand and express themselves
through video, non literate women were in no way inferior
to their urban counterparts who come to media education
with formidable academic backgrounds.
DDS and PV Satheesh
website for footage of and thoughts on participatory video.