 TOPIC: photovoice as a tool for participatory evaluation
 FOCUS: the community’s view of process & impact (rural
 METHOD: “photovoice complemented multiple methods such
as household surveys, nominal group process, and focus groups to
balance the goals of research, action, and evaluation” (47)
 TARGET: women (and other groups) in Yunnan as well as those
people interested in photovoice
 GOALS: understand the effects of photovoice, how it functions,
and show the results of an application in rural China
What is photovoice?
 “Blends a grassroots approach to photography and
social action” (Wang et al. 47)
 Photographic technique
 In comparison to a documentary 
 The relationship between subject & photographer
 People reaching policy makers
 *Created by Caroline Wang (“photo novella”)
Goals of photovoice
 1. to record and reflect their lives from their own point of
 2. to increase their collective knowledge about community
 3. to inform policy makers and the broader society about
those health and community issues that are of the greatest
concern and pride so as to bring about change
 (Wang et al 1996, 47)
 Yunnan Women’s Reproductive Health and
Development Program
 Enabled women to give evidence on policy effects in
their community (Yunnan)
 Location of field experiment in this article
Yunnan, China
 Located in far southwest of China
 Spans 394,000 square kilometers
 Population: 45.7 million
 Capital: Kunming
 Rich in natural resources
 Largest plant life diversity in China
 “It entrusts cameras not to health specialists,
policymakers, or professionals, but to people with least
access to those who make decisions affecting their
lives. Photovoice is the process by which people
identify, represent, and enhance their community
through a specific photographic approach”. (Wang et
al 1996, 47)
Photovoice Video
Contemporary Application
 Think of a current condition, in either the United
States or elsewhere in the world, where this technique
could be beneficial?
 Write down what this image would look like, what clip
of music you would incorporate, and be ready to
explain why.
Participatory analysis
 1. selecting (choosing photos to best represent strengths
& weaknesses of policy and programmes)
 2. contextualizing (telling stories about the meaning of
the photographs)
 3. codifying (identifying the issues or themes that come
from data)
Key Quotes
 “They used this photograph to involve their staff and
supervisors to think about way to improve the
situation. They also showed this photograph to the
funding agency to describe their assessment of what
was happening within the project site and what needed
to change”. (Wang et al 1996, 48)
 In regards to the picture chosen from YWRHDP
Other aspects involved in
 Ethical implications (picture of health care worker)
 Document before-after processes
 Enables evaluators to improve upon project activities
 Advantages @ 5 levels: intrapersonal, interpersonal,
organizational, community, and policy
 It draws in community members to become more
active in the feedback/ evaluation process
Key Quotes cont.
 “The photograph enabled project evaluations to
provide her with constructive suggestions about how
she could improve her teaching methods. But since her
identity was clearly visible in the picture, inadvertently
embarrass the health worker or cause her to lose face”.
(Wang et al 1996, 48)
 “How does photovoice as a method for participatory
evaluation contribute to a community’s ability to
reflect its own culture” (Wang et al 1996, 48)?
 CON- blurry, underexposed, and overexposed images
common. Technical problems and breakage problems
with cameras.
 PRO- save time on otherwise written reports. Expose
problems quicker than normal. Help avoid similar
mistakes among decision makers in the future.
Discussion Question
 If we were to perform a photovoice here at Rollins,
where would this picture take place?
 What would this picture capture?
 How would it then benefit our college as a whole?

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