- Delvin Varghese, 2015 cohort
- EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Digital Civics
- Newcastle University
Prior to starting his PhD, Delvin completed a BSc and MSc in Computer Science at the University of Wales in Bangor. Delvin chose the Digital Civics CDT programme at Newcastle University because of its interdisciplinary focus. Having come from a technical background, he was keen to explore how technologies could be used within International Development contexts and this programme offered him the space to do just that.
Delvin’s research focuses on how audio and visual digital media can be used to support the inclusion of community voice within the organisational processes of humanitarian organisations. He has collaborated internationally with Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in India, Indonesia, Namibia and Egypt to explore a variety of resource-constrained settings in developing community engagement processes built with the ethos of participatory media.
Delvin will carry out a placement in March 2019 alongside the Red Cross movement, in order to support the roll out of the participatory video process across their branches in South America.
He is very grateful for the international experiences he has gained working with NGOs in diverse contexts across the world. He has also gained an appreciation for the social and cultural navigation skills involved in doing cross-cultural research.
The first year of his Digital Civics programme involved completing a Masters year, which involved the challenge of adjusting to an interdisciplinary research environment, and developing cross-disciplinary research skills. He had to actively research into and then decide which topic he would focus on for the next three years. This was happening simultaneously, which required a very intensive workload for that year.
Through the research participatory video usage in carrying out monitoring and evaluation in International Development contexts, a more sustainable and cost-effective solution for doing community engagement has been identified. This has been recognised by the Red Cross movement, who have invited and funded this process in their field locations and are planning to conduct training in the next year to further promote this approach within their branches in South America and Europe.