Grassroots innovation for human development. Exploring the potential of Participatory Video

Alejandra Boni, Monique Leivas, Teresa De La Fuente, Sergio Belda-Miquel
International Journal of E-Politics (IJEP)

Can digital technologies serve to highlight and strengthen the work of social organizations that promote human development? This is the question the authors want to answer in this article, in which they analyse an eight-month participatory video (PV) process, promoted by a group of university researchers and conducted in collaboration with two grassroots innovations (GI) in the city of Valencia (Spain): the Fuel Poverty Group and Sólar Dómada. The innovative component of PV is situated in two areas: firstly, as an action research methodology, the PV process enables people's participation, with the aim of generating learning, agency and contextual knowledge from the participants; secondly, the innovation is found in the product, the video itself. The video narratives can be used to disseminate the practices of the GIs and offer a space for critical reflection on the structural constraints that may hamper the diffusion of innovations. Furthermore, the audiovisual work itself has its own agency and has the potential to create opportunities for advocacy and contribute towards removing barriers that limit human development.