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Photovoice

Rutgers works with Photovoice as an innovative method to measure the impact of our work on people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. Originally envisioned to be a good way to monitor and evaluate what people have learned, Photooice gives individuals the opportunity to speak out, to generate data for research, advocacy or communication purposes. All of this can eventually be used to reach out to stakeholders and spur positive change.

A Photovoice project: Not only about the pictures 

A Photovoice project works around one central issue. This issue is represented in a carefully designed research question which exactly defines what to find out, test or evaluate. 

Here’s an example: Young people’s involvement in programs relating their own sexual and reproductive health, could easily fade off the agenda of partner organisations in Bangaldesh. A Photovoice project in Pabna, with 10 youth advocates managed to create attention to the indispenable power of youth involvement. ‘How did your involvement benefit the program?’ was answered with some striking pictures and personal messages. (See the results in the slider above) 

A Photovoice project 

After learning the basics of photography (visual literacy, symbolism, composition and technical aspects such as light and focus), participants in a Photovoice project learn to reflect on their own experiences relating the central issue. Eventually, participants capture these experiences in photos, accompanied by narratives that explain how the photos highlight a theme. The final groups selection, reflects the collective message on the central issue. 

When to use Photovoice? 

Photovoice can be used for different goals: 

  • As a monitoring or evaluation tool: To research changes resulting from an intervention 
  • As a needs assessment or context analysis tool: To Get insights into the current situation or to provide input in program/ intervention development 
  • As a research tool: To answer a research question which may or may not be directly linked to a program/intervention 
  • As an advocacy tool: To provide input for a focussed advocacy topic 
  • As an awareness and empowerment tool: To have participants gain insight into their own situation and that of their peers, share this with others, and realise their ability to act on this. 

Want to know more? 

Contact us to be your partner in a custom made Photovoice project. 

*Note: when using the word ‘photovoice’, we always refer to the methodology of participatory photography and not to the organization PhotoVoice, which is a UK based NGO.

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