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Digital Storytelling for Global Health Research and Action

Digital Storytelling for Global Health Research and Action

As part of the 2022 CanWaCH Collaborative for Global Health, CAGH, the University of Calgary, Common Language Digital Storytelling, and Mbarara University of Science and Technology  have partnered on a project, entitled "Digital Story Telling for Global Health Research and Action," which will investigate and incubate effective and ethical use of Digital Story Telling in a global health context.

Through this first phase, the project will investigate experiences of up to 50 storytellers in rural southwest Uganda to inform potential GH-DST packaging. It will also incubate the DST approach with CAGH members through a needs assessment survey and follow up discussions to assess interest, potential uptake, and needed adaptations for scale-up.

What is Digital Story Telling?

Video storytelling has never been easier, or more important in a global health setting. It can be a meaningful way to share health messages, speak about the benefits of a specific program, or help cultivate a deeper understanding of specific needs, among many other things. One promising new methodology to create videos in low-resource settings is called Digital storytelling (DST). It is a participatory visual media creation methodology that guides participants in the creation of their own short films, and has been used by health researchers across many disciplines as a tool for knowledge generation, education, advocacy, and as a therapeutic intervention.

Upcoming Webinar: Digital Storytelling as a Tool in Global Health

September 29, 2022 * 12:00 pm EST – 1:00 pm EST

Despite great advances in global health approaches, policies, and procedures, there are echoes of colonialism to be found in activities undertaken by western NGOs and scholars. In particular, many of the multimedia stories that are found, crafted, and shared as part of global health projects are still facilitated or created by Westerners because of the prohibitive cost and/or specific expertise required in video production. However, the great democratization of video technology over the past 10 years has created new possibilities. Digital storytelling (DST) is a participatory visual media creation methodology that guides participants in the creation of their own short films, and has been used by health researchers across many disciplines as a tool for knowledge generation, education, advocacy, and as a therapeutic intervention. This session will briefly explore the theoretical foundations, ethical principles, and creative process of DST as well as provide examples of digital stories created and facilitated by local Ugandans in partnership with Mbarara University of Science and Technology, the University of Calgary, and Common Language Digital Storytelling. Attendees will leave with a deeper understanding of both the logistical and creative aspects of this multimedia methodology as well as a new appreciation for how utilizing DST in global health contexts could help build momentum towards a more just future. 

Presenter: Mike Lang, PhD

Register here