Participatory Video for Monitoring and Evaluation

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InsightShare offers training in Participatory Video for Monitoring and Evaluation. Participatory Video adds value, encourage iterative learning and explore qualitative data often missed through traditional M&E methods.


Participatory Video makes Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) engaging, compelling and fun. It is perfect for community groups, NGOs and other bodies seeking an authentic and participatory means of learning from their projects in interventions.

InsightShare works with our partners to use Participatory Video to complement and enhance partners’ existing M&E approaches. Participatory Video allows for organisations to gather qualitative data that often escapes traditional monitoring and evaluation tools. It monitors the project lifecycle over time and space through interviews, on-site visual monitoring and most significant change stories.

Our methods add value at every stage of the M&E process from developing a framework to data collection, analysis, documentation and communication. Participatory Video not only adds value to M&E, it gives it a human face.

It is not easy to gauge and communicate what a programme or activity has meant to the lives of beneficiaries. Those best positioned to explore and convey these messages are the beneficiaries themselves – they are trusted sources and speak first-hand about impacts and outcomes. They can select relevant individuals to interview in their communities and monitor relevant key events as they happen. As footage is collected through time and various spaces, all actors can reflect back on changes and progress in the community through screenings, where all are brought together to reflect and discuss.

Our methods help beneficiaries and stakeholders tell their stories and communicate their perspectives in an accessible, compelling and versatile format through a participatory and authentic process.


Planning & Framework: We work with a variety of stakeholders to identify the needs, objectives and indicators of success. Often we also build on existing socio-economic data and baseline surveys to develop a Participatory Video for M&E plan. We can also use videos from other locations so that groups that wouldn’t usually connect can watch each other’s films and hear a variety of perspectives. Areas that may have been overlooked come to light.

Data Collection: Participants agree how to collect data; a variety of creative & culturally appropriate mediums can be incorporated into PV approach: drama, music, storytelling, etc. Most Significant Change (MSC) is also an approach we have used with the African Development Bank (ADB) and other organisations. PV for M&E can serve as a catalyser to involve “hard to reach” groups, who may be missed by traditional surveys and focus groups.

Data Analysis & Documentation: The video footage gathered should be made available largely unedited, and grouped into clips based on the indicators. This is a transparent way to organise the images that is helpful for researchers, development organisations and communities because the themes can be clearly labelled and ordered. Organising the footage by indicator also reduces the editing time and skills level needed, making the editing process more accessible.

Participatory Video is a reflective process. Analysis happens at every stage, especially with regular community screenings. These should be organised after each Participatory Video M&E activity and should be well documented as they often yield new findings, are fertile ground for ideas, offer the opportunity to triangulate information and help groups reach new common ground.

Where possible, reactions from donors, decision makers & other groups should be filmed, enabling a valuable feedback loop for beneficiaries. This is especially useful for scaling up or sharing best practice across networks.



Participatory Video for Monitoring & Evaluation:

  • Encourages broad participation in the M&E process
  • Brings out qualitative data that is often missed with traditional M&E frameworks
  • Promotes multi-stakeholder dialogue and transparency, enabling a two-way exchange between funders, decision-makers and beneficiaries
  • Conveys a rich picture of the project cycle, its outputs and outcomes, which remains accessible and engaging for various audiences, irrespective of age, language, culture or literacy level
  • Strengthens beneficiaries engagement, ownership and control
  • Enables ongoing learning and develops beneficiaries' capacity to critically evaluate and take action
  • Videos can be easily shared across multiple platforms, opening up new possibilities for compelling communications at the local, regional and global levels

“As with stories, video helps to connect people to the reality on the ground. There is a human connection that comes from seeing someone speak, even if it is on video.”

“When community members are asked questions by other villagers, neighbours or relatives, with no project staff in sight, in the comfort of their own homes or backyards, their responses are always very frank and relaxed.”

“Our approach places as much emphasis on the process as on the final output”

“The purpose of evaluation is not only to fulfill a bureaucratic requirement but also to develop the capacity of stakeholders to assess their environment and take action.” UNDP on M&E

"We've never had so many people show up for our focus groups discussions, even when we covered more villages. This is an incredible turn out and we're getting a lot of new input from people we've never been able to reach before."

Shepard Zvigadza, Director of Zimbabwe Environment Regional Organisation (ZERO)

"We've learned so much we didn't know about this community through this workshop. The socio-economic surveys we did earlier in the project used just didn't give us this kind of information."

Dan Ong’or, Director of Huai Lake Forum, Kenya

"This is the most participatory workshop I've ever attended, I'm going to try to replicate this approach in everything I do now."

Charles Tonui, researcher at ACTS, Kenya

"Now I understand why I have to give up the camera to the community! I didn't know they would be able to do this... now I can learn from them!"

Tom Omyango, coordinator of programs at Huai Lake Forum, Kenya

Click here to download our leaflet about our diverse PV for M&E services and click here for a visual flow of how we combine Participatory Video & Most Significant Change.

Watch examples of Participatory Video for M&E projects:

Click here for the evaluation of Girls Empowerment Programmes of BRAC in Uganda and Population Council in Guatemala
Click here for the external evaluation of the Women's Economic Empowerment portfolio of UN Women in Moldova
Click here for the evaluation of the Mercy Corps LEAP Sport programme in Kenya (2010)
Click here for the evaluation of the Mercy Corps Research Program on Financial Education in the Rift Valley in Kenya
Click here for the evaluation of the British Council ESOL Nexus Programme

Or click here to browse all our films and resources on PV M&E.