Participatory communication

My background and main interest is in participatory communication and this approach informs everything that I do. Principles of participation, engagement and two-way communication are, for me, at the core of all effective communication.

I began working at community level in Burkina Faso, spending several years with a local NGO and theatre company making films about social and health topics of relevance to local people. We carried out participatory research with communities, translated the findings into films, and showed them back to the community. We then had discussions where people could ask questions and get clarity on key issues such as education for girls, HIV and AIDS, hygiene and hand-washing, and female genital mutilation.

I then carried on to work with UK-based NGO Healthlink Worldwide, which had a sole focus on participatory communication in health, and later on research communication with the Participation Team at the Institute of Development Studies, UK.

Projects

Collaborative platform

The Health Systems Governance Collaborative asked me to work with them because of my background in participatory communication. The Collaborative is a highly energetic and passionate global collaborative of people trying to find solutions to the most pressing problems in health systems governance.

I’m working with the team at the World Health Organization in Geneva to establish and strengthen creative and participatory approaches to building a community of people. I worked initially with them on their brand and identity, and to develop their interactive web platform, social media, and other mechanisms for engagement. I’m continuing on this exciting journey with the team in 2018.

Exhibition

Handicap International approached me to work on an interactive exhibition and teaching resource about landmines and cluster bombs for UK school children aged 11-16 nationwide. With my background in participatory communication and creative writing, this was a very appealing and engaging project. Dare you walk the path? has been used widely across schools in the UK.

The exhibition needed to be immediately attractive and personal so the children would interact with it meaningfully. However, this was also a potentially traumatic and upsetting topic, which needed sensitivity.

“The exhibition is informative, yet interesting and does not appear intimidating for the pupils. It covers difficult issues in a sensitive and powerful manner;  all-in-all it is an excellent resource.” Damian Etherington, Head of Sustainable Development Education, Glasgow Academy

Read more about how Glasgow Academy used the exhibition to explore the impact of conflict.

I worked with fantastic design company Giant Arc to produce this.