Advertisement

Digital Storytelling as an Agricultural Extension Communication Tool in Smallholder Farming and Fishing Communities in Malawi

  • Neil Gordon DaveyEmail author
  • Michael Kirby Moulton
Chapter
  • 30 Downloads

Abstract

Digital storytelling can overcome many of the challenges faced when communicating agricultural extension messages. It can represent a focused farmer-to-farmer communication, document the impacts of projects, and offer data for analysis. Our method focuses on beneficiaries’ perspectives and how new agricultural technologies impact their lives. Through workshops, 11 final-year agricultural extension communication students attending Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources were trained on how to collaboratively gather images with beneficiaries and how to use these images to drive a personal narrative. Flexibility allowed for data to be gathered efficiently. An image/discussion dynamic led to information that would hopefully reflect beneficiaries’ perspectives on specific projects. Images were first captioned to create photo-stories. Subsequently, recorded narratives were added to create what became known as “image-based digital stories.” Fourteen image-based digital stories were produced between November 2017 and March 2018 covering two agricultural projects: “Reducing carbon footprint through breeding and feeding based technologies for improved productivity” in Dedza district and “Sustainable environment and enterprise development for climate change adaptation in fisheries” in Nkhotakota district. The stories reflect what beneficiaries perceive as the most significant drivers and impacts of the respective projects, for example, the financial and health benefits of improved productivity in dairy farming; school fees can be paid and children’s health improves through consuming milk. Participants became empowered as part of the research and dissemination process; the methodology enabled us to reach and interact with the farmers and fishers of Dedza and Nkhotakota in a meaningful way. Moreover, students and faculty became motivated to further use and develop the methodology. The resulting data in the form of (a) photo-stories and (b) image-based digital stories can be used to validate extension messages and assist with future policymaking. The methodology could also aid future project design as a useful tool within monitoring and evaluation and project management.

Keywords

Digital storytelling Agricultural extension Agricultural communication Visual methodologies Monitoring and evaluation 

References

  1. Alterio M, McDrury J (2003) Learning through storytelling in higher education: using reflection and experience to improve learning. Routledge, LondonCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Clark A (2012) Visual ethics in a contemporary landscape. In: Pink S (ed) Advances in visual methodology. Sage, London, pp 17–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Collier J, Collier M (1986) Visual anthropology: photography as a research method. UNM Press, AlbuquerqueGoogle Scholar
  4. Davey NG (2018) Transitions to sustainability: a photographic exploration into the motivations, impacts, and expectations of community renewable energy production on the Isle of Eigg. MSc thesis, Norwegian University of Life SciencesGoogle Scholar
  5. Harper D (2002) Talking about pictures: a case for photo elicitation. Vis Stud 17(1):13–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Jamissen G, Moulton M (2017) “Now I See”: digital storytelling for mediating interprofessional collaboration. In: Jamissen G, Hardy P, Nordkvelle Y, Pleasants H (eds) Digital storytelling in higher education, Palgrave. Macmillan, London, pp 243–259Google Scholar
  7. Latz AO (2017) Photovoice research in education and beyond: a practical guide from theory to exhibition. Taylor & Francis, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Mkwizu Y (2016) The role of storytelling presentation technique in enabling access and sharing of climate change knowledge in Tanzania. University of Dar es salaamGoogle Scholar
  9. Newhall B (1982) The history of photography. The Museum of Modern Art, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Pfeffer J, Sutton RI (2000) The knowing-doing gap: how smart companies turn knowledge into action. Harvard business press, BostonGoogle Scholar
  11. Pink S (2013) Doing visual ethnography. Sage, Los AngelesGoogle Scholar
  12. Ribeiro SP (2017) Digital storytelling: learning to be in higher education. In: Jamissen G, Hardy P, Nordkvelle Y, Pleasants H (eds) Digital storytelling in higher education. Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp 207–203Google Scholar
  13. Shor L, Friere P (1987) A pedagogy for liberation: dialogues on transforming education. Bergen and Garvey/Greenwood Press, WestportGoogle Scholar
  14. Songola I (2017) LUANAR ADC students trained in digital story telling. http://www.bunda.luanar.mw/luanar/news_detail.php?id=381#.XAbnH12yVWE.email. Accessed 07 Mar 2019
  15. Szto P, Furman R, Langer C (2005) Poetry and photography: an exploration into expressive/creative qualitative research. Qual Soc Work 4(2):135–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Tønnessen ES (2012) Digitale fortellinger som multimodal tekst. In: Haug KH, Jamissen G, Ohlmann C (eds) Digitalt fortalte historier. Refleksjoner for læring. Cappelen Damm Akademiske, Oslo, ch 4Google Scholar
  17. Wang C, Burris MA (1994) Empowerment through photo novella: portraits of participation. Health Educ Q 21(2):171–186CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. White WF, Greenwood DJ, Lazes P (1991) Participatory action research: through practice to science in social science research. In: Whyte WF (ed) Participatory action research. Sage, Newsbury Park, pp 19–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of International Environment & Development StudiesNorwegian University of Life SciencesÅsNorway
  2. 2.Learning Centre Norwegian University of Life SciencesÅsNorway

Personalised recommendations