Jordan MESP Breathes Life Into a Youth Assessment

MSI recently incorporated a participatory video component as part of a USAID-funded youth assessment in Jordan. As part of the Jordan Monitoring and  Evaluation Support Program, it focused on collecting data about school attendance, workforce engagement, and voice and participation.

IMG_9829_1000x667A participatory video (PV) approach involves training individuals, groups, or communities in basic video techniques, and then implementing a plan for them to capture contextual information, distributed in a way that conveys relevant data. The key is to capture information in the voice of those closest to the issue.

PV previously had prohibitive costs associated with it due to the expense of video gear and costly trainers and crews. Now, the ability to capture video is widespread. Even in developing countries, many can record video on their cell phone. This convergence of creative technology and traditional data collection delivers easily digestible content and humanizes the data.

In Jordan, MSI’s Noah Wilderman had a chance to put the participatory approach to the test by designing a project activity to complement focus group data. Noah travelled to Jordan to deliver two workshops related to video production.

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 11.57.06 AMArmed with a basic point-and-shoot camera, memory card, tripod, and battery, trained youth assessors then hit the field. First, they attended focus groups to hear the perspectives of their peers, and then designed their own interview questions around emergent focus group themes. The youths then each chose an area on which to focus to their video interviews, including finding subjects.

In addition to using the video as a tool to introduce focus group findings to the client, the youth assessors/filmmakers participated in the presentations and in discussions with USAID, forming a direct connection between the donor and the population they were assessing. Ultimately, the video complements the youth assessment by providing an emotive overview of the issues that serves as an inviting gateway to the complete focus group data. The video is currently publicly available and is being presented to broader audiences.

Read more in the Ingenuity@Coffey post participatory video and the future of visual reporting.

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