The Practice and Ethics of Participatory Visual Methods for Community Engagement in Public Health and Health Science

This online course was created through a collaboration between SLF co-director Gill Black, Dr. Mary Chambers, the MESH community engagement network, and The Global Health Network. The course provides guidelines on the practice and ethics of participatory visual methods (PVM) with emphasis on their use in low and middle-income countries for community and public engagement in health and health science. It was produced as part of the Mesh Community Engagement Network learning and training resources.

The course was developed for use by engagement practitioners who are relatively new to the field of PVM and want to learn more about what they are and how to work with them. It is most fitting for those who already have some experience in facilitating participatory processes or in using qualitative research methods. The course also aims to support health science researchers who wish to include visual methods when engaging local communities and wider publics in their work. For each method that is described the pioneering work in the field is cited, along with other suggested reading.

The course is divided into 4 major sections

  1. General Guidelines gives general, practical, and ethical tips for selecting and facilitating PVM processes (Modules 1 and 2).
  2. Product Dissemination suggests ways to share PVM outputs with different audiences (Module 3).
  3. Methods gives examples of some of the most well-known visual methodologies and suggestions about how to facilitate them (Modules 4-7).
  4. Ethics Case Studies is a collection of case studies drawn from the global south. They describe some of the complexities that the authors have experienced when facilitating PVM processes, explain how they navigated those challenges and discuss what they learned from doing so (Module 8).

The estimated time commitment for this course is 6-8 hours. Learning can be appraised through quiz questions available at the end of each module. The entire course is also available as a [downloadable handbook below.

Project leader:Dr. Gill Black, Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation and Dr. Mary Chambers, Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, VietnamDuration:18 months
May 2018 – November 2019
Funders:Wellcome; Public engagement grant supplementary awardPartners:MESH community engagement network, The Global Health Network, Dr. Alun Davies, Dr. Sonia Lewyka

Project outputs and resources

Online course access (via The Global Health Network)

Academic paper

Reflections on the ethics of participatory visual methods to engage communities in global health research.

Global Bioethics. 2018; 29 (1): 22-38 Black G, Davies A, Iskander D and Chambers M