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Participatory photographic risk assessment for child injury prevention
  1. P de Vos*
  1. Correspondence to University of Alberta/Peercorps Trust Fund/Government of Alberta, Culture and Community Spirit Provincial Building 4709 – 44 Avenue Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada T7Z 1N4, Canada


The two films document the process and key findings from a participatory project that used photographic and narrative methods to explore youth perspectives on the causes of childhood injuries in Tanzania. Over the course of several weeks, students from Green Acres Secondary School explored and documented risk factors to child injury in Mbezi beach, Dar es Salaam. The project used photovoice and consensus-based methods to stimulate reflection on injury. Photovoice is an innovative community engagement technique that uses cameras as documentary tools and employs photographs as catalysts for empowerment and social change. The process involved five stages: (1) the students were taught basic photo techniques and ethical principles and given cameras to explore causes of injuries for children and youth in their community; (2) they selected the images that they felt most accurately reflected their individual and collective perspectives on injury risk; (3) they shared stories in small group discussions about the pictures they had chosen; (4) they identified common themes that cut across the multiple stories and images; and finally (5) they reflected on the root causes and possible community solutions to these problems. Throughout the process, they were asked to explore a series of critical questions such as: what do we see here? What is really happening? How does this relate to our lives? Why does this problem or strength exist? What can we do about it? The films demonstrate the potential of using photovoice and story-telling techniques for injury prevention and community development.

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