A key part of the Africa RISING communication strategy is to really engage with and document the knowledge and experiences of the communities where it works.
Alongside more classical research communication, the project is therefore exploring multimedia formats like video, photographs and ultimately radio and mobile phones as tools to enrich multi-way communication.
Africa RISING in the Ethiopian highlands recently organised a photofilm (digital stories) training for selected staff from the ILRI Addis Ababa campus to advance their skills.
The training covered the basics of photofilming, including defining the story itself, audio recording, interviewing, photos, and editing software.
Elias Damtew, who recently joined the Nile Basin Development Challenge (NBDC) signed up as h would be doing this type of work in his project: “I came to understand what photofilms are all about in this training”. With the technical skills he captured, he plans to produce multimedia Most Significant Change stories and lessons from NBDC research sites (the NBDC has also experimented with alternative participatory communication approaches).
A field trip to Goshe Bado Kebele (one of the Africa RISING sites in Amhara region) provided an opportunity for trainees to put tjheir learning into practice. Three farmers (one man and two women) were selected to be interviewed and photographed for the story development. Divided up in to three groups the trainees visited one farmer and spent some time doing interviews and taking photographs. On the third and fourth days of the training the trainees and produced initial films.
An after action review of the training afterwards with the team revealed much learning and enthusiasm and generated some suggestions to take this work forward in Africa RISING and other projects.
The films produced will be made available after further editing.