On the 21 and 22 february I gave a Workshop for the Connect4Change (C4C) Consortium education sector partners in the Copperbelt, Kitwe, Zambia. The Connect4Change Consortium is part of the Dutch government’s MFS II international development funding programme for 2011-2016. The workshop was organised together with my Connect4Change colleagues Theresa Stanton (IICD) and Tjeerd de Boer (Edukans). The trip from Lusaka to the Copperbelt is interesting and I was lucky to see some more of Zambia than just Lusaka. The Mukuba University was so friendly to host the workshop and they arranged all the facilities. This resulted in a room with good connectivity as well as wonderful lunches made by the home economics teachers.

I was really happy with the interactive participants who made my job a lot easier. During the workshop they registered for an Akvo Really Simple Reporting (RSR) update account and worked on their project profiles using the back end admin system. They thought a lot about catchy titles, good photos and interesting summaries. Some posted updates on their projects while others were still busy creating a good project profile. Now all the C4C Zambian partners have their projects visible on our platform and on the C4C website.

During the workshop I asked Kelvin Chibomba of One World Africa for his impressions and if he was now able to use the Akvo tools I’d been talking about.

After a tour around Mukuba University we started with the video training. I shared our tips and tricks and then it was time to shoot some interviews. Everyone was excited and on the Mukuba University terrain it was very easy to break out into groups to shoot the interviews. We used Flip Video cameras to do the interviews. The partners really loved them; they were surprised by the quality of these lightweight and simple digital video cameras. Some partners were really eager to have one.



Together we reviewed the interviews and learned from each other. These were the comments:

    – Watch the background, as in one of the videos some workers were visible behind the subject, which was distracting
    – Be careful with too much bright sunlight which bleaches out your subject and causes dark shadows – it’s better to film in the shade
    – Don’t hold the camera too close – we don’t want to see the back of the tongue
    – Don’t cut off the head – the person’s head needs to be in the video
    – Think of some questions you want to ask up front – you can share these briefly with the interviewee just before the interview
    – A good audio fade-out is important, so point the camera to the ground when finished

On the second day of the workshop we summed up all the things we had learned the previous day and practiced another round of interviews. Here is the result:

I was very surprised because by the time I returned from the Copperbelt, Gonzalo Portal had already uploaded one of the videos he shot during the workshop. From my point of view the workshop was a success. Hopefully we will see the results in updates on the projects.

The participants were a bit worried that the video files are too big to upload on YouTube and none of them had a YouTube or other video channel account. So we talked about re-sizing videos for uploading in situations where internet connectivity is weak – look out for a blog about this in the near future. Also, if C4C partners want to upload a video they can use the C4C YouTube channel. Just drop me an email Kathelyne[at]Akvo.org and I can help with this.

You can view some photos of the workshop and my time in Zambia on my flickr set.

Kathelyne van den Berg is Akvo’s Connect4Change programme manager