Module M14 - Documentation

Unit M14U04 - Fundamentals of Participatory Video


This Unit introduces trainees to the process of facilitating a participatory video (PV) project. It reviews the principles and ethics of participatory video practice and includes specific exercises. Trainers and trainees alike are encouraged to be innovative and to use their own best judgment, but it is also hoped that they will be guided by these principles and ethics. The games and exercises with the camera are simply a means to an end and can be modified as appropriate, but understanding the principles of good practice is essential to using PV as a tool for change.

The Unit clarifies the key issues as understood and practised by InsightShare ( ), an organisation dedicated to promoting the use of PV. InsightShare believes that the best way to learn PV is by doing it and that making “mistakes” in the field and learning from these experiences are worth more than reading 100 books of theory. Further details can be found in InsightShare’s handbook, which can be downloaded from its website.

This material has been adapted from Insights into Participatory Video by Nick and Chris Lunch (2006) ( and is copyrighted material. Once acknowledgement has been made to the authors and to InsightShare, parts of the material may be reproduced for local use, provided that such material is not printed and sold.

Unit objectives / expected outcomes

After the completion of the Unit the trainee will be able to:

  • discuss the ideas behind PV;
  • explain various aspects of the usefulness of PV;
  • decide on levels of editing skills desired;
  • facilitate the PV process;
  • deal with decision makers;
  • respect the principle of ethics;
  • facilitate editing under the principle of ethics;
  • become agents for change.

Content outline, main topics covered and suggested sequencing

This Unit focuses on the topics listed below:

  1. Fundamentals of Participatory Video (Handout4T & PPT No. 1) (1½ hrs)
  2. The Name Game (Exercise No. 1) (1½ hrs)
  3. Twist in Frame (Exercise No. 2) (45 min)
  4. Storyboard Methods (Exercise No. 3) (1 hr)
  5. Facilitating a PV Encounter – Role Play (Exercise No. 4) (3 hrs)

Components of the Unit


Handouts for Trainee (to be distributed in printed format):

Handouts for Trainee (to be distributed in digital format)



1 day

Additional trainer resources

  • Insights into Participatory Video: Nick and Chris Lunch, 2006. ISBN 0-9552456-0-5
    (available as a download or hard copy from
  • Participatory Video: Jackie Shaw and Clive Robertson, 1997. ISBN 0-415-14105-2
  • Participatory Video – Images that Transform and Empower: Shirley A. White 2003 ISBN 0-7619-9763-6
  • Eyes See, Ears Hear: Don Snowden
    (available from
  • Most Significant Change – Using Participatory Video for Monitoring and Evaluation: Chris Lunch (PLA Notes
  • Volume 56, No 1, June 2007) Available from:
  • ICT Update Issue Number 34 – Articles on Participatory Video available on
  • Many more useful resources - like articles, videos, case studies and photostories - are available to download from InsightShare's website:

Equipment needed

Computer, beamer, two mini dv video cameras (each must have a microphone-in socket and a headphone-out socket), two hand-held microphones and extension cables and/or one hand-held microphone and one directional microphone, two headphone sets, two tripods (or one tripod and one monopod), a projector or TV monitor for screening back, AV cables for connecting camera to the projector or TV, two 60-minute mini DV cassettes, flip chart paper and pens

Additional downloads