Participatory Video for Monitoring and Evaluation in Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change

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Date Published:
January 28, 2011
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Community Contribution

Describe The Approaches Utilized To Measure / Assess This KM Initiative: 

The CBAA Participatory Video for M&E process had the following aims: - Enhance accountability - Amplify the voice of community - Support action research - Promote community based adaptation - Strengthen communication between NGOs and the communities - Help generate and archive local knowledge Process: Each partner and coordinating NGO was invited to choose the participatory M&E tool that was most suitable for their process. In Kenya, The African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) selected Results-Based Management (RBM) as the preferred method. ZERO (Regional Environmental Organization Zimbabwe) chose to use a Performance Monitoring framework. In Malawi CURE chose a matrix built on participatory indicators. In South Africa, the M&E framework was developed after the Participatory Video training and was applied in the form of a participatory GIS mapping and baseline. The training in each country lasted 12 days with an average of 11-12 trainees. Most of them (approximately three quarters) were community members, and the rest were NGO and CBO staff involved with the CBAA project. The training took place in five parts: 1. Workshop space 2. Field work 3. Editing 4. Screening 5. Design phase for follow up plans. Each partner then continued monitoring according to their individual calendars (eg, getting images on progress of harvest after every short dry season and interviews with farmers). Each training followed a different course in each country, and established a visual baseline of the situation on the ground. The monitoring was then implemented by the participating NGOs and CBOs and is ongoing. A final evaluation by the NGO & CBO staff and the community trainees took place in Kenya, using Most Significant Change and participatory video.

What Do You Think Are The Main Unanswered Questions Or Challenges Related To This Field Of Work?: 

Here are some of our outstanding questions: What are the limitations of story-based evaluations and how best to combine the latter with logical frameworks and other such tools? What is the best way to obtain a representative sample of opinions from a Participatory Video for Monitoring & Evaluation exercise? What are the best existing tools and platforms to manage and cross reference data from surveys and video footage? For questions or more information, please contact: info@insightshare.org

What Was The Purpose Or Motivation For Assessing This KM Initiative?: 

IIED invited InsightShare to develop a Participatory Video for M&E strategy to support their internal learning processes, inform the action research and amplify community voices in relation to coping mechanisms for adaptation to climate change.

What Were The Most Important Lessons Learned About The Assessment Process?: 

The Participatory Video for M&E intervention supported the action research process, built more common ground between the NGOs, CBOs and the communities, and built the capacity of each NGO involved in participatory video. The qualitative information gathered fed and advanced the action research, making the monitoring real and palpable through specific activities which were incorporated into a calendar that was used for monitoring (see example below) Indicators were made accessible through visualisation (storyboards) and community engagement in the development of indicators was integral to the training. The use of interviews and stories also left behind a sense of accomplishment and harvested learning that the NGO staff used to inform the adaptation strategies, for example in Zimbabwe the project shifted from digging out a dam to digging more reliable wells. Challenges: There were several challenges in implementing the project. including managing expectations of communities who didn't see the immediate benefits of the monitoring and research process. We also had to manage time as well as budget constraints during planning and training. These were addressed through the capacity building aspect of the project: building on the skills of community trainees, leaving equipment under community management and creating a forum through screenings and discussions to highlight community action priorities related to CBAA. In particular, leaving flip cameras with the community was an effective' way to enable the punctual recording of climate events which will be shared with the local NGO as well as local authorities. For the final analysis, rather than focusing on indicators we used the more accessible formats of Participatory Video and Most Significant Change techniques to collect stories and disseminate the changes that the CBAA had effected.

What Would You Do Differently Next Time?: 

Video data needs to be logged and archived on a regular basis especially if filming takes place during an extended period of time. This process requires a fairly advanced understanding of data management and can be time consuming. Reducing the number of indicators and frequency of collection and allocating more training time to data management could solve this. In Malawi, the process was simplified through the identification of specific locations to film at during weather events, a targeted list of questions to ask during interviews and specific crops to monitor.

What Advice Would You Give To Others Based On Your Experience?: 

The success of the process was underpinned by the commitment of all project partners to learning by doing and their understanding of the Participatory Video methodology. All parties agreed to learn, experiment and develop the tool. This provided lots of freedom to try new approaches and therefore innovate. The logistical support given by the local NGOs was also key.

Describe The KM Initiative: 

InsightShare was invited by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) to undertake capacity building work for the Community-Based Adaptation in Africa project (CBAA). Funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), CBAA was an action research initiative looking at community based adaptation to climate change. The coordinating partners in each country were members of the CLACC (Capacity Strengthening for Least Developed Countries for Adaptation to Climate Change) network, a group of fellows and international experts working on adaptation in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) coordinated by IIED. InsightShare passed on its skills in Participatory Video and Monitoring & Evaluation to build the capacities of community members and CBO,NGO staff in South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Malawi . Community level research and pilot projects were conducted through the CLACC network and through collaboration with relevant stakeholders (such as national NGOs, Community Based Organisations and national meteorological services) To reduce vulnerability to climate change CBAA employed a 'learning-by-doing' research approach, looking at adaptation knowledge, experience and technologies generated locally. CBAA identified ways of communicating climate information to poor and vulnerable communities and then from those communities on to other stakeholders. NGO and communities' capacities to facilitate the integration of climate change into their plans and activities were built. The initiative generated information on Community Based Adaptation to Climate Change aimed at researchers, NGOs, national and international policy makers and decision makers.

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