Thursday, October 16, 2014

Results PV Oscar Reward Competition 2014 - Ethiopia

On the 29th August, 2014 the Ethiopian Social Accountability Program Phase 2 (ESAP2) organized the Participatory Video Oscar Reward ceremony in Addis Ababa. Fifteen organisations had submitted each 5 videos for participatory video interventions, they had conducted between March and July, 2014. Five organizations, who were nominated, had to compete prior to the PV Oscar Reward ceremony. Finally the winner was selected and rewarded in the Washington Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In this video some of the participatory video facilitators and a community member comment on how PV impacted and influenced their work. The PV Oscar competition brought some surprising result for them.Watch:


PV supporting community dialogue on improvement health service - 7 steps

The training participatory video, applied in the Ethiopian Social Accountability Program, consists of 7 steps on how participants from social accountability partners learn to apply participatory video for dialogue with the community. The third training took place from 1 - 5 September, 2014 in Hawassa, Ethiopia. The participants inteviewed and involved 7 stakeholder groups in the discussion on the improvement of health care in Meki, Ethiopia. Both user groups and service providers were involved in this participatory process. The training was implemented by a team of participatory video trainers coming from Ethiopia and The Netherlands. Between October and December, 2014 the participants will apply the participatory video in their own workplace and social accountability projects involving their communties. The participatory video training and program is part of the Ethiopian Social Accountability Program Phase 2.  Watch the video:  

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Powerful stories sustain

Good stories sustain. From scientific research it has been proven, that people remember powerful stories best. Especially if stories are true-ish and told with emotion, people do not tend to forget them. In the course ‘Facilitating Storytelling’ held on the 15th April, 2014 participants got acquainted with some major principles on how to tell and share powerful stories. Powerful stories are used for:
  1. Branding/ marketing;
  2. Organizational change;
  3. Knowledge transfer;
  4. Lobby, campaigning and awareness raising;
  5. Games
 An example of a powerful story, you can watch at Specsavers Emergency Drone Delivery:


Through the application of some useful tools, such as the symbol, the river, the Little Red Ridinghood and the Bad Wolf practice was gained on how to develop a powerful story. By the end a stripcartoon was designed visualizing a story about the added value of education.  Read strip cartoon about Education.

The next training on ‘Facilitating Storytelling’ will take place on the 28th October, 2014.  Read more about the course ‘Facilitating Storytelling’. 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Participatory Video supporting the dialogue on social accountability – 7 steps

From 9th to 14th February, 2014 Simon Koolwijk conducted a participatory video training for 20 representatives from 10 social accountability implementing partners in the Ethiopian Social Accountability Programme Phase 2 (ESAP2). This program aims to improve the communication and relations between local stakeholders such as local government (Woredas and Kebeles), civil society organisations, local citizens groups and service providers in the areas of health care, agriculture, water & sanitation, education and rural road construction. The process of better communication aims to help to improve the services of service providers (the suppliers) so that citizens needs (the users) are being met. The participatory video was initiated to help to stimulate and support the dialogue on social accountability and the improvement of social services.

In the one week training, participants got the opportunity to apply participatory video in Metehare and Adama City.  In Metehare City they interviewed key stakeholders working on health service improvement in their community.  In Adama City they interviewed key stakeholders in the area of water service delivery.  You can watch the participatory videomaking process in 7 steps.


Another video of this training, produced by one of the local trainers, you can watch the video PV training february 2014 overview.

Currently,  15 social accountability partners from the ESAP2 programme are implementing participatory video in their own social accountability projects.  It is expected that by the end of May, 2014  between 15 and 20 community dialogue meetings will have been conducted where videos have been presented and discussed.  It is ESAPs intention to organize a mini film festival later this year, where experiences and lessons learnt about participatory video will be discussed.  The participatory videos which have already been produced you can watch at the ESAP2 youtube channel  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Impressions about the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) ‘The Future of Storytelling’

From October to December, 2013 I participated in the MOOC Course ‘The Future of Storytelling’ facilitated by Iversity. Iversity is linked to the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam, Germany.
MOOC means a Massive Open Online Course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. The ‘Future of Storytelling’ helped me to get a better insight on:
  1. How fictional stories work;
  2.       How new technologies influence the ways stories are told and perceived;
  3. How technologies engage and audience fast and continuously;
  4.       How I can develop and implement my own story ideas or how I can facilitate storytelling.
Content of the course
The format of the course was very practical.  Every week, I got the opportunity to watch video lectures about storytelling basics,  storytelling on tv, the web and role play games.  Later on I got acquainted with new modern techniques of storytelling such as transmedia storytelling and augmented reality and location-based storytelling.
At the end of each online weekly session, we got the opportunity to do a creative task. One of the assignmens which I liked the most, was to compile a visual story about Aunt Renie visiting an interesting location in one part of the world of the online participants.  You can watch my story at youtube:  Aunt Renie visits the Devils Mountain Forest. Within a period of three weeks, it gained more than 700 hits.



We also created a ‘Nick Name’ person telling and sharing stories through a social medium. I created the ‘Devils Mountain Rust Wat Tree’.  You can read some of the ‘Devils Mountain Rust Wat Tree’ at its Facebook Page   From now on I use the page, to share and add some interesting stories about forests, forest conservation and the Devils Mountain Forest.

Impressions
I liked the course a lot.  It was structured and every week I had a fixed time I could read and learn more about storytelling and challenge myself to do a creative task. For me as a freelancer, it is an advantage I can do this course in my own time,  at my own rhythm and the creative tasks encouraged me to experiment with some new ways of storytelling.  Through the forum I was inspired to read more about what other participants had produced. What I missed was the face-2-face  teamwork in doing assignments. Somehow, a MOOC should also look into the possibilities on how groups tasks between 2 or 3 participants can be stimulated. 
Conclusion: The online course was fun to do for me!  I am looking forward to any new online course that will match my interest and domains of work.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Facilitating storytelling through the Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf

Last week I facilitated a workshop with the aim to harvest funny fictional stories. I applied the facilitation method of the ‘Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf’.   After sharing the story of Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, I explained the main characteristics of a good story.
Definition of a story: A story is a representation of events that are associated with each other. A story has the following characteristics:
·         Is self-explanatory and has a beginning, middle and end;
·         Contains narrative elements;
·         Is authentic: true or true-ish;
·         Is personal;
·         Calls on emotions and / or is told with emotion.

Narrative elements are:
1.       A main character (protagonist): A (anti) hero with whom the listener or reader can identify;
2.       A storyline; chronological sequence of events, which includes
3.       A plot: development, wrestle, dilemmas;
4.       An  "opponent" (antagonist), a negative factor that the hero stands in the way;
5.       A 'helper' or 'supporter', a positive factor that supports the hero.


After sharing the characteristics of a story, I asked participants to brainstorm their heros and their opponents.  In groups of three participants selected a hero and an opponent and developed their story.
Helpful sentences that supported the development of the stories, were:
1.       Once upon a time there was…………  (the person/ hero)
2.       And as always ………..  (describe a beautiful situation, as things are going smoothly)
3.       Until a day ……. (here the problem or the wrestling starts in the story, the opponent appears in the story)
4.       Thereby, and thereby and  and thereby ………   (make the situation worse and worse …..)
5.       Whereby …… (here the story comes to a climax, the final stage has started)
6.       They lived happily ever after
7.       If needed, add a moral to the story

Storytelling as a tool for organizational change
The session created fun, laughter and relaxed atmosphere in the group.  In the reflection phase we concluded that storytelling is an excellent tool for teambuilding or organizational change session. You can do it before discussing the main issues in organizational development. For example formulating the ‘Values and Beliefs’ of the organization.  But you can also apply it after thorough discussions on how the organization should move forward.  For example symbolizing the intended change in a funny and symbolic story.


Storytelling is also excellent as a tool for:
  • Participatory video;
  • Monitoring and evaluation;
  • Branding and advertisement;
  • Knowledge transfer and education;
  • Dialogue between stakeholders in institutional change processes.


For your inspiration, a story that was generated from the Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf

The cat and the mouse
Once upon a time there were a mouse and a cat. The cat said 'I am going to eat you!. I am hungry!'  The mouse said.  I am poisoned. If you are going to eat me, you will die. My death will be your death. So you either choose or  you will tolerate my presence and enjoy the games you will play with me.  Or you die!  The cat thought, the mouse was fooling him. The cat decided to catch the mouse and enjoyed the meal the fullest.  Unfortunately, the mouse was right. The cat started to feel unwell and caught a heavy fever. The house boss saw the cat crying.  Help me! I am going to die. Please call an animal doctor.  When the animal doctor came, the cat was crying. Help me, please help me!  I was wrong to eat a mouse.  The animal doctor listened to the stomach of the cat, and heard a mouse crying. Help me out! I am still alive.  If you help me, you help the cat.  The doctor took the words of the mouse serious.  He advised the cat to vomit!  Vomit, vomit!  This will help you.  The cat decided to cough deeply. And again deeply. After vomiting three times, the mouse came out!  A relief entered the cat. The fever was gone!  The mouse looked the cat in the eyes!  I told you!  If I will die, you will die.  The cat said sorry! I was greedy and just thinking of myself.  You were right. I have to listen more carefully and appreciate what is there!  Shall we become playmates?  The cat said 'I accept your apologies.  Do you promise me not to do this ever again?  The cat nodded. I promise, said the cat!  They shook hands and became friends for their lifetimes.

Training on Facilitation of Storytelling
If you want to obtain and acquire more tools in facilitating storytelling, read more at  the course schedule ‘Facilitation of Storytelling’  

Friday, January 10, 2014

Dialogue on social accountability through participatory video – 7 steps

From 16th to 20th December, 2013 Simon Koolwijk conducted a participatory video training for 10 representatives from 5 social accountability implementing partners in the Ethiopian Social Accountability Programme (ESAP2). This program aims to improve the communication and relations between local stakeholders such as local government (Woredas and Kebeles), civil society organisations, local citizens groups and service providers in the areas of health care, agriculture, water and sanitation, education and rural road construction. The process of better communication aims to help to improve the services of service providers (the suppliers) so that citizens needs (the users) are being met. The participatory video was initiated to help to stimulate and support the dialogue on social accountability and the improvement of social services.
In the one week training, participants got the opportunity to apply participatory video in Gulele Sub City, where they interviewed key stakeholders working on health service improvement in their community.  You can watch the participatory videomaking process in 7 steps.  



The training was received with great enthousiasm. The method inspired the participants to conduct participatory videomaking in their own organization and embed it in their monitoring and evaluation systems. The 5 participating organisations have planned participatory videomaking interventions in their programmes. They will implement their interventions between January and march, 2014.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Ten energizers, games and exercises for training and facilitation on video

Games, energizers and exercises can be very useful in creating a safe and relaxed atmosphere in the group, but they can also be very helpful in building understanding in complex knowledge transfer or planning processes. Nicole Kienhuis and Simon Koolwijk filmed 10 exercises on video, which can be applied for trainings or facilitation events.
1. Trust:  This is a physical exercise, which helps to create a more relaxed atmosphere in the group. Finally it helps to build more trust amongst group members during an event.  Watch video:  Trust.
2. Two truths and a lie: This exercise is very practical for getting to know each other in the beginning of an event. It can help to break the ice and can stimulate a humoristic atmosphere in the group. Watch video:  Two truths and a lie.
3. Structured thinking: This exercise is a powerful introduction in explaining the importance of structured thinking. Especially in processes such as planning, design and curriculum development the exercise builds understanding why structured thinking can be very crucial in certain planning and development processes: Watch video:  Structured thinking.




4. Brainteaser:  ‘Think before you act!’ is the message of this exercise. Especially if strategic decisions need to be taken, this exercise builds understanding that thorough discussion and research is required. Watch video: Brainteaser.
5. The minefield: ‘Rely on the information from your partner!’  This is a teambuilding exercise which challenges people’s roles in accepting and relying on leadership. Watch video: The minefield.
6. Expressing emotions:  ‘Exaggerate your emotions’.  This exercise also helps to create a more relaxed atmosphere in the group. By exaggerating emotions people start to discover their potential on how they can express emotions in role plays or behavioral exercises. Watch video: Expressing emotions. 
7. The value of doubting:   Being too confident or too sure you have the right answer, can block people to be open-minded for new perspectives. This game challenges people to continuously doubt about the right answer. Watch video: The value of doubting.
8. Recognizing changes:  This exercise is an eye-opener in making people sharp in recognizing changes. It is a simple exercise, but definitely challenges people’s observations’ skills. Watch video: Recognizing changes.




9. Make your own circle:  “Think out of the box!”  Solutions can be very simple, but to find them requires a new way of creative thinking. This exercise is a good introduction in preparing people on ‘out of the box’ brainstorm sessions and developing their creativity.  Watch video:  Make your own circle.

10. Playful connections: A game about interaction.  It is a relaxing exercise in testing people’s concentration and focus in listening and responding.  The video shows how it can be applied for introducing a training session on social media.  But you can also use other words for introducing other training or discussion topics. Watch video:  Playful connections.  

If you want to consult literature on games and energizers, we advise Warming-ups and Energizers, author:  Marcel Karreman – 2010.