استفاده از محصولات بصری به دست آمده از تحقیقات اجتماعی برای اطلاع رسانی سیاست مدیریت منابع طبیعی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|9009||2012||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Land Use Policy, Volume 29, Issue 1, January 2012, Pages 1–10
People living near remote protected areas seldom have their perspectives considered in decision-making on conservation and development. A consequent challenge for researchers and practitioners is engaging with policy-makers about local peoples’ perspectives, in ways that will capture their attention and influence the decisions they make. Some authors claim that visual products have potential for providing such a means, i.e. in communicating ‘local’ messages to policy-makers. In this study we used action research to explore the use of visual products – derived from participatory community research – to communicate local perspectives to policy. Hypermedia DVDs, containing videos, photos, diagrams and text, were used with policy-stakeholders in interviews and group activities. Most participants reacted positively to the DVDs and indicated that visual products provided credible and valuable insight into findings, grounded in local knowledge. The main strength of the DVDs was to provide engaging messages, in a format that allowed integration of knowledge co-constructed by local people and researchers. They were found to be a versatile medium for use with a range of viewers with different needs, as well as a valuable platform to enhance discussion and understanding needed in developing sound policy in natural resource management. We also found the ‘processes’, used in creating DVDs and presenting them to policy-makers markedly influenced the effectiveness of visual products. We suggest that in working with broad and complex areas in NRM, these types of visual products have the best potential in shifting conceptual thinking and generating ideas and awareness among policy-stakeholders, rather than as a means of recommending specific policy.
In development research and practice internationally, there has been a rapid growth in the use of participatory visual techniques, such as diagramming, photography, video, GIS and 3D landscape visualisations (Kindon, 2003, Pain and Francis, 2003, Vajjhala, 2006, Shaw et al., 2009 and Sherren et al., 2010). Much of this growth in ‘visual expression’ has entailed the utilisation of participatory visual tools for promoting dialogue among local groups, in a form of action research aimed at community development. Benefits claimed include increased empowerment, improved power balance and mediation between groups, documentation of traditional knowledge and improved awareness and engagement on local issues (Shaw and Robertson, 1997 and Wang et al., 2004). Some practitioners and researchers suggest that ‘products’ such as film, photographs, maps and diagrams – developed from the use of visual methods in communities – can have valuable applications for communicating local messages and issues to policy-related stakeholders (Lunch and Lunch, 2006). An example of this approach is ‘The Fogo process’, where a series of participatory videos was made with people from Fogo Island, Canada. These contained statements on local preferences and concerns, and were shown to other community members and government decision-makers. This process was argued to have opened dialogue between community and Cabinet ministers and to help instigate public engagement on future options on land management for these islanders (Snowden, 1998). Another example is the ‘Flint Photovoice Project’, where youths and adults in Michigan, USA, participated in a photography project. The visual products from that project are claimed to have enabled youths to communicate their concerns about neighbourhood violence to policy-makers, and to have played a key role in community acquisition of funding for local protection against violence (Wang et al., 2004). One argument made in support of using visual media in communication is the ‘humanizing’ potential of images (Ferreira, 2006). Many authors talk of the way video in particular, with moving image and sound, can provide more human representations to audiences. Supporting these claims, Hall (1991, p. 191) states that video can create ‘vivid, strong and often lasting impressions’. The implication is that visual and audio media can evoke greater emotive stimulus and feelings than processes using verbal or text only media (Sheppard, 2005) – especially when conditions cannot be visualised directly (e.g. famine in remote regions). The use of ‘hypermedia’, which integrates different visual media (such as photos, video, diagrams) as well as text and audio, has also generated interest because of the potential to communicate information to a range of viewers in an interactive way (Nielsen, 1990 and Wang, 2003). However, this medium is more commonly used in education than in community development, environmental management or policy applications. Despite the evidence of the potential of visual products to enhance communication, some authors maintain that focussing too strongly on the goal of creating visual products can compromise the quality of the local ‘processes’ of dialogue in community research (Snowden, 1998). Because of ethical concerns that local people and their voices may be misrepresented through visual products (Braden, 1999), researchers and practitioners using participatory visual methods generally call for emphasis on robust processes1 in the creation of visual products. As Mhando (2005, p. 14) states, ‘the product, while being important in relaying communication can only be useful if the process by which the content was created was truly participatory’. Consequently, most literature on the use of visual methods in social research and practice has concentrated on the use of visual techniques in the ‘local process’ with community participants, not the creation of visual products, nor the use of such products for informing policy. The few accounts of the use of visual products derived from participatory processes are found mainly in grey literature, such as project reports (e.g. Lunch and Lunch, 2006) and Internet sites (e.g. InsightShare, 2010 and VideoVolunteers, 2010). Some academic literature exists, but this is rarely supported by theory or connected to literature on policy. Within the field of natural resource management (NRM) in particular, there is very little documentation of studies exploring the use of visual products derived from social research and/or community participatory processes for informing policy.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Visual products were shown to have promising potential as means of allowing community voices to be heard in policy arenas. Such products have special value in the way that audio-visual images can elicit emotive responses and hence make remote situations more ‘real’, as well as authentic to people far from the scene. However, we also concluded that visual products cannot be legitimately used for informing policy if they are not constructed from robust local processes, and if clear reference to the background in which messages were derived and the context of the community research sites is not provided when products are presented. It is also important that the facilitators of policy processes understand policy audiences and trends within the wider political system they work within to be able to understand appropriate ways in which to engage and communicate with them. Mediums that can integrate images, as well as text or verbal information – such as interactive DVDs and other hypermedia – were particularly useful in providing rich context to the messages and in catering to different audience types. Their format was also useful in facilitating learning among policy-stakeholders – because they allowed users to explore issues through different media and pathways that promote reflection and discussion on the issues. Many researchers, practitioners and policy-makers assume that ‘good’ research would have an impact on policy mainly through direct and instrumental means. This assumption devalues the ‘enlightenment’ function of research and demonstrates a lack of understanding of the unique ways that social research can help shift conceptual and critical thinking. We conclude from this study that research need not set out to attempt to inform policy in only direct and instrumental ways – especially when issues are new, broad and complex – such as is often the case in NRM. The results of social research (and messages in visual products) seem much more likely to have value for ‘conceptual use’, i.e. in providing the contextual understandings that are needed in design of good NRM policy. Our study showed that the type, design, and content of visual products used were critical. But the action research setting of this research among real-world policy-stakeholders also revealed the importance of seeking effective processes in communicating research results to policy arenas. The value of using intermediaries or linking agencies, and networks to support these processes, became very clear. The results also highlighted a major difficulty faced by social researchers in meeting the expectations held by many policy-makers for research results that provide specific solutions to (preconceived) policy questions. We conclude that visual products derived from participatory social research processes can fill a very important need of policy-makers – to have access to a balance of information on the situations of people living local to protected areas, and their views and ideas for management of natural resources and their use. Visual products are unique in that that they can be engaging, evoke emotional responses and can help create dialogue and provide a platform for promoting lateral and deep thinking on new and complex concepts, in ways that are informed by local people's perspectives.