This blog brings together my visual research for developing:
pictorial animated interactive on-line training resources for empowerment.
The research project aims to contribute to innovation for my professional work as consultant for international development agencies, specialising in gender and livelihoods development. Much of my work has focused on development of a pictorial participatory methodology for community-led change: Participatory Action Learning for Sustainability (PALS). More details of the PALS methodology, its applications and the organisational partners I work with can be seen on the gamechangenetwork website.
Focusing on visual communication potentially enables:
- clarification of complex ideas and concepts
- more information to be conveyed in a much smaller space and time
- the resources to be accessible to all, promoting more equal communication and participation across barriers of literacy and power inequalities
- requires little or no translation across national and international language barriers
- enables large-scale low-cost dissemination through download to a mobile phone from the Internet.
However to date many visual materials on empowerment are fairly standardised in appearance and simplistic in their messages. Or they rely on written diagrams.
This research project explores possibilities for new pictorial ways of communicating complex concepts through bringing together:
- drawings and diagrams around empowerment from communities I have worked with to analyse similarities and differences across cultures in how women and men envisage empowerment
- drawing and pictorial representation styles in literature from different development agencies
- information graphics
- participatory design
- interactive technologies and web design
This research will help make my design of the resources for my work more empowering, engaging and impactful. It is also hoped that bringing this information together on this blog may also inspire others to experiment further in their own work.