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ARC works with Akvo to learn simple video skills for faith groups

July 25, 2012:

"A project update is traditional reporting made simple, visual and immediate" from the Akvo video manual

ARC staff attended an inspiring workshop with the Dutch-based NGO Akvo, learning how to use the simplest of video techniques and equipment to report back on projects in the field. The guideline is to create a short video report of no more than three minutes, requiring just a few minutes of editing, which can be put on websites to report both to funders, other project officers and people in other communities wanting to set up similar projects.

A project update is traditional reporting made simple, visual and immediate.

The Akvo video manual shows in easy steps how to be effective. And simple. 

How to create a video

Imagine you are in the field teaching people how to drill a well. Your project update might be a short description of what you covered and how much progress you made. 

Some simple guidelines:

• Tell the project’s story - what is happening now?
• Be specific; include detail in your descriptions. 
• Use natural language, not jargon. 
• Don’t worry too much about the quality of the language it doesn’t need to be perfect. 
• Showing people if possible, include a picture. Use the caption to explain briefly what is happening
in the photographs. Preferably the photo should be sharp and have a good resolution (1280 x 960 pixels is ideal). 
• Descibe the technology used, and talk about the social and human aspects.
* Let the beneficiaries of your project speak. 
* Before the project starts, interview someone who will benefit from it. What’s his/her current situation?
* Later, do a follow-up interview with the same person. What changes has he/she seen? How will they affect his/her life? Be brief don’t try to be complete. 
* It works better to have a steady stream of short updates than one long one with lots of text. A good picture and a pithy caption work best of all.

Examples from the Field

The Akvo website has many examples of this technique in action. Click on the links below to see two short videos made by projects in Bangladesh and Ghana:

Training for video reporting, Sujol Project, Bangladesh

Computer skills for small business (PEPS-C), Ghana

Examples from ARC

Here are two examples from our training session at ARC:

ARC Secretary General Martin Palmer talks about the work ARC does

ARC Education Projects Officer Kirsty Main-Ellen talks about projects that ARC supports


The Akvo video training manual

Akvo website

ARC's video page

Akvo page for Water Schools Project

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ARC is a secular body that helps the major religions of the world to develop their own environmental programmes, based on their own core teachings, beliefs and practices.