Advice for Taking Photos in the Developing World

While working in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2007 under a UNDP contract to support the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD), I developed a slide presentation for staff on taking photos in the field. The communications office at this particular MRRD/UNDP initiative relies heavily on all staff, particular Afghan staff, no matter what their job titles, to take photos whenever possible at events and workshops and during project site visits. This is because many staff are prohibited from traveling to certain parts of Afghanistan; international staff are sometimes prohibited from leaving Kabul altogether.

This presentation/training touches on both the kinds of photos needed and how to take photos in a culturally-sensitive manner.

This presentation is focused on a specific program and a specific country (Afghanistan), but maybe by changing the photos and a bit of text, it could work for you?

If you adapt this presentation for your own use, be sure that, when importing your own photos, that you make the photos have less dpi. You do this (in MS Powerpoint; not sure about OpenOffice or NeoOffice, but I'm sure it's similar) by:

Also, viewed this presentation with the notes, not just the slides; I have lots of information in the notes section that may help in making this presentation to an audience.

Download here. It's 639 KB.

The result of this kind of training with staff? See the initiative's Flickr site; most of these photos were taken by various staff members, including Afghans, NOT by me .

Also see Building Staff Capacities to Communicate and to Present, which describes various activities undertaken to improve the communication capacities of Afghan government staff, and links to various slide presentations and materials used for this endeavor.

Tips for staying in contact with remote staff in developing countries / conflict zones
Many factors stand in the way of trying to stay in contact with field staff at projects in rural or conflicted areas in developing countries. I review all of the various challenges faced by people in a main office in getting data from field staff working in humanitarian / development / aid initiatives, and how to address those challenges.

See more resources re: Outreach & Engagement, With and Without Technology

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