As part of the Desertification and Regeneration: Modeling the Impact of Market Reforms on Central Asian Rangelands (DARCA) programme, InsightShare worked alongside a multidisciplinary team of scientists studying the environmental impacts of current grazing practices on semi–arid Central Asian rangelands. Our Participatory Video methods complimented and enhanced other more traditional forms of data collection such as remote sensing, pasture analysis and herd monitoring. This was an EU Funded project under the Copernicus programme, coordinated by Dr Roy Behnke from Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Aberdeen.
You can read more about this project in "Prospects for Pastoralism in Kazakstan & Turkmenistan – from state flocks to private flocks” edited by Carol Kerven 2003. (Chapter 9 by Chris Lunch, InsightShare Co-Founder & Director Director). Click here to order on Amazon.
“Participatory Video methods compliment and enhance other more traditional forms of data collection”
Dr Roy Behnke MLURI, DARCA Programme Coordinator
Ecological study transects were selected in Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. Participatory Video was used to work with communities living in these zones enabling them to explore and communicate their perspectives on desertification and their ideas for improved rangeland management.
The semi nomadic herders in these regions were given a powerful voice and their views helped guide the wider scientific research. Local scientists were trained in InsightShare’s Participatory Video methods and witnessed the benefits of incorporating the views of local pastoralists into their research and dissemination activities.
Two participatory videos were produced each made up of 5–6 short films. The film made by shepherds in Kazakstan was shown on Kazak TV to millions of rural viewers and won a prize at the 2002 Grenoble film festival "Pastoralisme et Grands Espaces" Both films have been shown widely on the local and national level. They have also been circulated globally among International NGOs, donor agencies and scientists and screened at a number of international conferences.
Many agencies working in Central Asia experience difficulties when working with women in these Muslim countries. InsightShare’s experience has been completely different, this must be largely due to the engaging Participatory Video methods we employ. Whilst women are not always able to take part in community meetings, Participatory Video work with groups of women, enables them to have their opinions heard and be fully involved in highlighting issues of importance to them.
"PV is a useful tool for our research. The shepherds’ films can be shown to the wider rural population as well as to farm managers & higher authorities. This will contribute to improving methods of pasture use & fodder production in Kazakstan, helping livestock development here in general." Dr Illya I. Alimaev, Research Centre for Vetinary Diseases & Animal Production, Kazakhstan
"Participatory Video works where other methods fail and progress is made remarkably quickly. I was especially impressed at how Insight’s PV methods encouraged women to get involved.” Jamal Orazvalieva, participant, Turkmenistan