New video series on participatory research techniques

I’m Alison Dyke, a researcher in the Participatory Research Group at SEI-Y. As a part of a project we’ve been doing on public engagement in our research at SEI International we’ve been making a series of short videos on our work and the sort of techniques we use (see a blog post on the project) . The video of my work on public engagement in biosecurity and plant health issues is here on Youtube, together with one from Sukaina Bharwani on the WeAdapt climate change adaptation platform and more coming soon. The videos are useful internally to let our colleagues know what we’re up to, but also to share our experience more widely. Let us know what you think.

I’ve found making the video on my work a useful reflexive tool (formally evaluating progress and acting on the findings as the project develops) in itself, requiring me to think through what we are trying to achieve and what we have learned from the techniques we have used. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but turning a ‘if only we had done it like that’ moment into ‘next time, I’ll do it like this’ is where reflexivity  comes in. It’s often difficult to build in reflexivity into a project, particularly if you have a a tight timescale, but it seems increasingly essential to be for building a culture of openness within a project. One of the biggest lessons for me from many of the partnership projects I’ve worked on in the past is that while there can be great good will on the part of all the partners, it’s important not to make assumptions about them. The partner’s motivations, what resources they are able to commit and whether there are multiple competing or even conflicting aims all need discussing somehow even if that is difficult. That’s what I’m planning to work on next time.

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