Development workers undergo skills training

BAGUIO CITY — Development workers need to upgrade and update their skills and knowledge on good practices and trends to be more efficient in meeting the challenges in their work and service.

Thirty eight development workers from Northern Luzon completed a course on multi-media documentation and Aid Effectiveness last Tuesday, July 5 at the Training Center of the Katinnulong Daguiti Umili ti Amianan (KADUAMI) in Bengao, Baguio City. John “Igan” Marasigan from Tan-aw Multimedia Collective conducted the multimedia training with an actual practice from the participants who were armed with cellphone cameras, DSLRs, video cameras and computers.
The participants were asked to present ten best shots of people, environment and interesting subjects which were then presented to the group for critiquing. The fun shoots showed some had an eye for detail, for lines and focus. Some pictures had stories to tell which is important if reports need to convey the situation on the ground.
The development workers who in performing their work have to produce documentation of their conditions and accomplishments are told to create reports with accompanying evidence in photo or other medium. If multi-media reports are incomplete, blurred or out of focus, those who need to know the conditions would be left with more questions than answers or would simply be bored with the reports.
Some tips in getting interesting shots were given with actual photos taken by master photographers. The guidelines from professional photographers showed the participants what happens to a picture if the camera angle is changed, moved or altered. The digital age has given a lot of leeway for amateurs to just shoot and shoot and edit or delete later, unlike when films were used and one had to “conserve” in order not to waste negatives.
Basic to photography in the digital age is to shoot and shoot since the moment could be lost in an instant, like in the case of a violent rally dispersal or disasters. However, documentors are always cautioned to observe safety measures and consider the sensibilities of viewers or readers. For example, shots taken showing the faces of mangled bodies in the bus tragedy at Naguilian road do not have to be included in the documentation.
Later, the participants reviewed photos or video they have taken with a keener eye for details, colors, focus and perspective. They related this with the stories they were telling and sharing to others.
An input “On the road to Busan: Aid Effectiveness and Development Effectiveness” was presented by Esther Roxanne B Veridiano, Executive Director of Kaduami. The 4th High Level Forum (HLF-4) in Busan, South Korea end of November this year will be attended by 2000 international delegates who will review global progress in improving the impact and value for money of development aid and make new commitments to ensure aid truly reduces poverty and make lives better.
HLF-4 is a milestone in that this is the first time that civil society organizations (CSOs) will participate in the discussions with the governments and aid agencies. A document entitled ‘CSOs on the road to Busan: Key messages and proposals’ is a common political statement written by CSOs all over the world. From earlier CSO fora that presented the positions and demands on the aid effectiveness process, “On the road to Busan” specifies the call to all development actors to fully evaluate and deepen the Paris and Accra declarations commitment; to strengthen development effectiveness through practices based on human rights standards; to support CSOs as independent development actors and commit to an enabling environment for CSO work in all countries; and to promote equitable and just development cooperation architecture. CSOs are also challenging governments to meet the Millennium Development Goals as set by the United Nations.
In the pre-consultations and in the HLF-4, CSOs will make clear that achieving human rights, women’ s rights, gender equality, decent work and environmental sustainability is the ultimate goal for development effectiveness and development cooperation. Democratic ownership should be the key.
Aid Watch Philippines, a groups of CSOs participating in the discourse on development effectiveness lists proposals to the government to more effectively use foreign aid. One, is to remove policy conditionalities and tied aid. Two, increase grant aid particularly for rural development, social services, gender, human rights and the environment (including climate change). Three, is for greater transparency and accountability in negotiation, design and implementation of aid programs and projects. Four, greater public participation and accountability to recipient country citizens in aid system. Lastly, clearer national policy on CSO involvement in ODA system e.g., mechanisms and procedures for meaningful participation of CSOs.
The Philippines use of aid, especially under the past regimes, were characterized with graft and corruption. The challenge is for the public and CSOs to be involved and closely monitor where aid is being spent and if it is being used wisely. As they say, at the end of the day, the taxes you pay should be spent properly and justly. #


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