Enhancing Participatory Evaluation of Land Management through Photo Elicitation and Photovoice

Taryn M. Kong, Klaus Kellner, Diane E. Austin, Yolandi Els, Barron J. Orr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Land management evaluation can be made more relevant and holistic by incorporating local knowledge and perspectives. We examined whether photo elicitation and photovoice could enhance semi-structured interviews in capturing local livestock farmers’ knowledge and perspectives in a participatory evaluation in Mier and Molopo, South Africa. The participants discussed themes including veld condition, land management, and evaluation criteria. Photo elicitation provided more details (62% of instances analyzed [Mier]; 58% [Molopo]) and new information (75% of instances analyzed [Mier]; 65% [Molopo]) beyond those in semi-structured interviews. Photo elicitation also enriched data with personal or concrete examples, comparisons, contrasts, explanatory information, and revelation of attitudes or values. Photovoice created opportunities for mutual learning among the participants. The main drawbacks for the two photographic methods were additional time and equipment requirements, and the risk of omission. These two methods represent unrealized potential for supporting natural resource management research and projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-229
Number of pages18
JournalSociety and Natural Resources
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • dryland restoration
  • environmental assessment
  • local knowledge
  • participatory research
  • photo elicitation
  • photovoice
  • qualitative method
  • stakeholder participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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