Advantages and value added of the participatory video in the context of evaluation of projects, development programs and actions.
Use in evaluating a projects or a program, the participatory video allows the beneficiaries to speak directly. Often time those beneficiaries are not consulted and do not participate in making decisions concerning the project. With their own backgrounds and perspectives, local actors and beneficiaries can participate in the evaluation of the project and the video support allows them to show and speak about the results, the effects and the impacts of the project, and also their views on the obstacles and the challenge to overcome. After the initial phase that consist of showing them how to use the video equipments and learning about the production of a film, the second phase of the process will consist of working with the participants and the communities. After receiving a quick training in video making, the beneficiaries of the project should be able to make a film that evaluates the project, their opinion on the results, the effects and impacts of the project for them, the success, difficulties and challenges of the project with their own voices and images. Who beside the beneficiaries themselves can really talk about the goodness of a project? Thus, it’s an opportunity for the beneficiaries to evaluate a project by themselves, to make a film showing the results of the project and impact for them. So the participatory video is an efficient participatory evaluation tool.
- the participatory video could be used next to the written reports to reinforce the visibility of the program and its results, by showing true testimonies on the significant changes resulted from the program. Because of its visual aspect, the participatory video shows credible, concrete and convincing images of the results and seriousness of the project.
- the evaluation with participatory video allows the appropriation of the results of the projects or development program by all the different parties involved in the project and also by a third party.
- the participatory video process allows the different parties involved in the project to create solid relations and bonds, to know each other and to work together and respect their differences. It also allows transparency between all the different parties.
- The film and messages contained in a participatory video can be used in a horizontal communication (for example to communicate with a different community, to inform them concerning the project, the results…) and in vertical communication (for example to communicate with decision makers, for fund-raising, to raise funds and support from technical and financial partners).