Using photovoice for disaster and hazard preparedness: a methodological review: data collection

Published: 5 May 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/bj9rp66789.1


This documentation describes a data set for a pilot study conducted in Aotearoa New Zealand, in which participants used the Photovoice methodology to represent their perceptions of earthquake risk and how they prepared for such hazards in their local environments. The method involves participants taking photographs, followed by a focus group and theming workshop, in which participants critically analysed their photographs to draw out shared themes, issues, and theories.


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Method: - Determine research theme - Determine the demographic of participants that will be sought for the research, in this case, students at the University of Otago between the ages of 18-30. - Participant recruitment through snowball sampling from contacts of the research team, in this case, the School of Geography and Centre for Sustainability. - Provide potential participants with further information on the research and obtain consent from those who express interest. - Select a sample size of research participants (small for a pilot study). - Conduct data collection and analysis: involving three main steps: photography, a focus-group, and a theming workshop. A facilitator is responsible for recruitment of participants, informing each about the Photovoice process, and facilitating the focus group and theming workshop. - Facilitator explains the Photovoice methodology to participants and provide them with prompts to plan a list of approximately 20 photos representing their perceptions of the risk of earthquakes and their preparedness for earthquakes, which they will take with their smartphones around Ōtepoti Dunedin. - Ask participants to keep a diary recording key information about each photo, including its content, the intended representation, why they took it, where it was taken, and any further thoughts. - Print the photos submitted by participants and use them for the follow-up sessions. - Conduct a focus group with the participants, where they will critically analyze their photographs, select photos to discuss, and contextualize them through open dialogue, identifying similarities and differences between photographs. Use the SHOWeD questioning technique: What do you See here? What is really Happening? How does this relate to Our lives? Why does this problem or strength exist? What can we Do about it?’ as a loose guide to the session. Make this prompt available to participants. - Conduct a theming workshop where participants collaborate to codify photos and arrange them into themes according to issues, theories, and themes that they identify themselves. - Audio record the focus group and theming workshop, transcribe the recording, and provide participants with the option to view and comment on the transcript. - Use the themes developed by the participants as the initial themes for a thematic analysis of the focus-group and theming workshop transcripts using Excel computer software. Sort text according to the themes identified by the participants and deductively code the transcripts in relation to connections identified to literature on risk perception and preparedness. Use an iterative process to identify further themes representing connections between the participants' insights and established theories of the relationships between risk perception and preparedness in literature.


University of Otago


Disaster Preparedness, Natural Hazard