Researchers from the United Nations University Institute in Macau, Hannah Thinyane and Catriona Craven-Matthews, along with Sammia Poveda from Sheffield Institute for International Development conducted fieldwork in Cebu, the Philippines, for two weeks during April 2018. This research is part of the Migrant Technology project, investigating the use of digital technology to empower migrant workers. The particular activity aims to understand the impact of digital skills training using a participatory video approach on the well-being of survivors, as well as how the training program and the security of high-skilled employment affect recovery and reintegration.
The fieldwork was hosted at a local social enterprise that employs survivors of exploitation and prepares them for work in the business process outsourcing industry. Over the course of two weeks, the research team along with two local research assistants conducted participatory video workshops with a group of employees in which participants created their own videos, from the initial storyboarding stage to the final editing stage. Throughout the process, participants were asked to reflect on how the technical skills and core skills training they receive at the social enterprise have impacted their psychosocial well-being, self-image, and life outside of work. Three sets of video equipment and editing software were donated so that participants can continue to learn and make videos. The research team also conducted over 20 interviews with employees and upper management at the social enterprise. Several reports and articles are planned using the information gathered during this research trip, which could be the beginning of a rewarding partnership.