Using Photovoice as a Community Based Participatory Research Tool for Changing Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Behaviours in Usoma, Kenya

Using Photovoice as a Community Based Participatory Research Tool for Changing Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Behaviours in Usoma, Kenya

Bisung, E., Elliott, S. J., Abudho, B., Karanja, D. M., & Schuster-Wallace, C. J. (2015). Using photovoice as a community based participatory research tool for changing water, sanitation, and hygiene behaviours in Usoma, Kenya. BioMed research international, 2015.

Recent years have witnessed an increase in the use of community based participatory research (CBPR) tools for understanding environment and health issues and facilitating social action. This paper explores the application and utility of photovoice for understanding water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) behaviours and catalysing community led solutions to change behaviours. Between June and August 2013, photovoice was conducted with eight (8) women in Usoma, a lakeshore community in Western Kenya with a follow-up community meeting (baraza) in May 2014 to discuss findings with the community members and government officials. In the first part of the study, photovoice one-on-one interviews were used to explore local perceptions and practices around water-health linkages and how the ecological and socio-political environment shapes these perceptions and practices. This paper, which is the second component of the study, uses photovoice group discussions to explore participants’ experiences with and (re)action to the photographs and the photovoice project. The findings illustrate that photovoice was an effective CBPR methodology for understanding behaviours, creating awareness, facilitating collective action, and engaging with local government and local health officials at the water-health nexus.