The Seed Institute is one of the 18 participatory research groups Participate is working to democratizing the way in which development happens through participatory research to influence policy. The organizations are committed to bringing knowledge from the margins into the decision-making at every level of society.
Within the Participate network, participation is understood as contributing to citizenship, social justice and development as social change. The aim of the participate network involve working to inform and transform policy and practice in development in order to:
• Bring the perspectives of those in poverty into the decision making processes
• Embed participatory research in policy making
• Use research with the poorest as the basis for advocacy with decision makers
• Ensure that marginalized people have a central role in holding decision makers to account in the post 2015 process
Generate knowledge, understanding and relationships for the global public good.
The Seed Institute’s research titled ‘the world I do not want’ provided a platform for vulnerable children and women in Red Soil, a settlement in Nairobi, to express their aspirations without fear using drawings, essay writing and film production
The Seed Institute works to inform, inspire, and mobilise community members to take action against poverty and inequality in slums and rural communities. The Seed Institute provides a platform for children across Nairobi’s poorest communities to express their aspirations, without fear, using film and drawing.
Participatory research through creative methods and video
This research aimed to provide a platform for children and women across Nairobi’s poorest communities to express their aspirations without fear using drawings, essay writing and film production. Participatory Video (PV) was used: a set of techniques whereby a group shapes and creates their own film in an accessible way for exploring shared issues and voicing concerns.
It can also help establish collaborative relationships within a group towards shared purpose as well as providing a way to communicate issues to an external audience. One PV training was conducted with six vulnerable children from the Mwiki community; over three months, they became peer researchers to explore the difficulties faced by children with disabilities. Women living with alcoholics and underage mothers also used PV.
• The children and women were trained in participatory video techniques to shape and create their own films on issues affecting their community
• Community discussions took place with the research participants, including children with disabilities, their parents and young mothers
• The participatory video research was used as a platform to influence local decision-makers
In Red Soil, a settlement in Nairobi, Kenya, the issue of disability is becoming more visible. Children researchers have documented the experiences of families that face disability, the issues that affect their lives and how parents are raising the profile of disability in the community. Jecinta, the mother of a son with a disability, has mobilised a group of mothers to support each other and to provide a platform to engage with local decision-makers. The bonds of solidarity that have been built have enabled these mothers to act in order to bring about change. For participation to be meaningful, the capacity of groups to organise and work collectively to raise their voice is critical.