Participatory videos for community development. Lessons from the Nepalese Himalayan Mountains

November 27, 2018 annavonsury Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.3 out of 5

Pimmer Christoph      Urs_Web_06     ZAHND Alexander_4 (1 of 1)

The use of participatory videos to document and share knowledge is gaining traction in development cooperation and community development. But can we leverage these videos in very remote areas with mostly illiterate people? Yes, we can. Here are insights and recommendations from using participatory videos in Nepalese Himalayan Mountains to support the development of community infrastructure projects, such as building drinking water systems and greenhouses.

By Christoph Pimmer and Urs Gröhbiel, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, Alex Zahnd, RIDS-Nepal/Switzerland


Upgrade your workshop with a background story!

September 06, 2018 annavonsury Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools, SDC Networks

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

NadiaHynek Bures neu

How to create an immersive workshop experience, where your participants bathe in the juices of the workshop’s topics? Immersive doesn’t require virtual reality headsets, foremost it requires a story. Here a practical example.

Nadia von Holzen, learning moments and Hynek Bures, dubbed perceptions


For the DDLGN 2018 face-to-face event, we – Nadia as facilitator and Hynek as multimedia reporter – came up with a low-tech idea to tell the network’s background story: A timeline that portraits the network, its members, its achievements.

For your info: SDC’s face to face events are organized by the agency’s thematic networks, where participants exchange on the networks’ topics. In this case on democratization, decentralization, and local governance. This year’s event coincided with the network’s ten years anniversary.


Sparking attention with visual workshop agendas

October 30, 2017 Blog Admin Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.8 out of 5


aP1420370aPresenting the workshop agenda is a unique moment for sparking energy, motivation and curiosity. A visual agenda gives a first clue what will happen in the workshop and serves as orientation all along the workshop. As facilitator, you can show where the group is in the process; and as participant you know what will happen next and how you can engage.

Marie Marchand, SDC and Nadia von Holzen, Learning Moments (more…)

Explorative Thinking With Photographs

October 02, 2017 Natalie Frei Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

quadraticA picture is not only worth a thousand words but it can also elicit a thousand words. As an audio-visual anthropologist and digital storyteller, Darcy Alexandra has studied the relationship between text and pictures for more than 10 years. She employs audio-visual production like photo and video documentation and digital storytelling as a means of participatory inquiry with diverse research partners. In an SDC Lunch & Learn she encouraged participants to explore new ways to look at and use images.

By Natalie Frei


Inspiring inputs for conversation

August 23, 2017 Blog Admin Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

Hynek Bures neuNadiaPresentations are more than information delivery. Presentations should inspire conversation. When giving a presentation, we should always remind ourselves that the presentation is about the audience; and that the presenter has a supportive and facilitative role. Let’s flip our presentations and start with a question and a first small conversation. Let the audience talk before we talk.

Hynek Bures, dubbed perceptions and Nadia von Holzen, Learning Moments (more…)

Infographics , why bother?

May 03, 2017 Natalie Frei Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.8 out of 5

Portrait_Gabriela MontorziInfographics are great visual tools for clearly communicating complex issues. They transform concepts into accessible and concrete messages. They highlight key information, improve practical observation and reveal connections not visible otherwise. (1)

By Gabriela Montorzi, Scientific Infographics (more…)

Mind map = c’est penser avec stylo

April 26, 2017 Blog Admin Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.6 out of 5


Une mind map – carte mentale ou heuristique – ressemble à un couteau suisse : c’est attractif et pratique. Cette méthodologie visuelle ne passe pas de mode. Elle est toujours moderne, attrayante, puissante.  Qui plus est, c’est facile et rapide. Finalement, sa dimension visuelle permet d’identifier les connexions et les schémas ce qui sert de base pour agir.

Nadia von Holzen, Learning Moments (more…)

Dare to draw! Use simple drawings to communicate, engage and energize groups

March 09, 2017 Blog Admin Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

Sarah mugshot 2Caro Van Leeuwen recently posted an inspiring video about how she started using drawings during her internship at SDC, encouraging others to try it too. We did! At a recent Lunch & Learn event, we experimented with simple drawings of people, things and concepts. But what can we do with these drawings? And how can we go further?

By Sarah Clark (more…)

How your story tells you how it wants to be told

February 15, 2017 Blog Admin Let's Talk Visual

Rating: 4.8 out of 5

Beat Rüdt

Irritated by the title of this post? You shouldn’t be. During the “Lunch & Learn” events and the multimedia and video workshops we learned, that there are a lot of good stories at SDC that are worth to be told and that can be told in many ways.

By Beat Rüdt, MAZ


Being the facilitator – a visual reflection

February 08, 2017 Blog Admin SDC Experiences

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

Jany pictureNadiaThis blog post draws a colorful picture of what it means to be the facilitator. A facilitator has many roles to play before, during and after a workshop or learning event. But what are these roles? And how do we as facilitators see ourselves? During a Lunch & Learn event a group of facilitators reflected these questions in a visual way and uncovered a series of interesting metaphors. 

By Jany Barraut and Nadia von Holzen (more…)

Let’s Draw

February 01, 2017 Blog Admin Let's Talk Visual

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

Caro van LeeuwenWhen I started my internship at SDC I’d never have thought that drawing would become so important in my work. Sometimes you just don’t find material to visualize what you want to say. This makes me grab my pencil and draw – and it adds a new twist to the presentation! You say you don’t have the talent to draw? Try and exercise and you will see: it is not that difficult. This video is meant to encourage you to discover your drawing skills, too! 

Caro Van Leeuwen, SDC (more…)

Questions Shape Our Stories

December 12, 2016 Blog Admin Let's Talk Visual

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

Darcy Alexandra NadiaThe story circle is a crucial first step in making digital stories. Sharing story ideas in the circle helps clarify what the stories are really about. It is an intense group process of joint reflection and inquiry that is meaningful for everyone involved. Mid November, the SDC Learning & Networking Team organized its 4th Digital Storytelling workshop in Bern. In this workshop, “Pivotal Stories in Intercultural Contexts,” the story circle was once again the starting point for a dynamic process of reflection and dialogue. This process continues throughout the entire workshop as storytellers edit, re-write, read aloud, and polish their scripts to completion. 

By Darcy Alexandra, Inquiry Media and Nadia von Holzen, Learning Moments


Communicating innovative ideas with video

December 01, 2016 Leonie Pock Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


The play button is the most compelling call to action on the web” says Michael Litt, CEO and co-founder of Vidyard, a platform hosting business video content for distribution to websites and social channels. Not very surprising quote considering his position, you may say. But the success of the company reflects also the importance of video not only in marketing but also in other forms of communication. In this blog post, we want to have a closer look at the benefits of video in communication and introduce Lightbulb – a new format for sharing new and innovative learning experiences of SDC collaborators, units and networks. By Leonie Pock


11½ ideas when to use a digital story

July 13, 2016 Blog-Admin1 Change Stories, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.6 out of 5


We made stories. Making stories is great learning. This we know, this we experienced. Using stories is the next step. In knowledge communication there are many options to integrate digital stories into sharing and learning processes.  In this blog post we collected 11 ½ ideas for you how to use your story or stories created by your colleagues.

Carmen Eckert, Leonie Pock and Nadia von Holzen, SDC (more…)

Joint Learning on Pastoralism – a process of experience capitalization among SDC Programme Officers

March 03, 2016 Leonie Pock Methods & Tools, SDC Experiences

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Manuel Flury SDC Programme Officers of West Africa and the Horn of Africa engaged in a joint learning process on pastoralism. In a series of meetings they collected, synthesized and exchanged experiences in eight key topics of this area. Manuel Flury and Charlotte Nager take a step back and reflect about the added value and the limitations of such an experience capitalization process.

By Manuel Flury, SDC, Addis Ababa and Charlotte Nager, SDC, Berne


Where to use videos in your work – some ideas

December 09, 2015 Blog-Admin1 Let's Talk Visual

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

Hynek Bures neu

Picking up the smartphone and recording a sparkling idea from the workshop is not unusual anymore in SDC. 213 videos have been uploaded to the SDC YouTube channel, this year only. That is why the next step needs some attention: How to use the new tool of expression and the videos produced in the work. This is a question of smartly combining the various communication channels: videos, PowerPoint slides, written reports, oral stories.

Hynek Bures, dubbed perceptions (more…)

Creating a digital story is deep learning

November 11, 2015 Blog-Admin1 Change Stories, Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

AlfonsoNadiaThe beauty of digital storytelling is that the results are not only visible but also shareable. The beauty is also that the process of creating stories within a 3-days workshop triggers deep reflection and learning for the each storyteller.  

Alfonso Flores, communication specialist working for SDC’s Water and Sanitation programme in Central America shares his personal learning experience.

By Alfonso Flores and Nadia von Holzen, SDC (more…)

Need to explain a project? Why not use a story!

October 21, 2015 Blog-Admin1 Let's Talk Visual

Rating: 4.7 out of 5

NadiaIn our work we are confronted with many issues. Some are easy to explain, others need more words. A good way forward is sharing a story. Stories have the force to illustrate complex issues naturally. The images and voices you have in your mind make our sharing and learning more concrete, lively and contextual than a report can do.

Nadia von Holzen, SDC


How to make 1-minute video statements with your smartphone – Part 3: Edit and share

September 30, 2015 Carmen Eckert Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Hynek Bures neu

Do you want your message to have an influence? Share it! Here is how:

by Hynek Bures (dubbed perceptions) (more…)

How to make 1-minute video statements with your smartphone – Part 2: Record your message

September 16, 2015 Carmen Eckert Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Hynek Bures neu

When you have drafted a concise statement and you want to pass your message in an effective way, record it on video! You can do that simply with your smartphone. Here is how…

Hynek Bures, dubbed perceptions



How to make 1-minute video statements with your smartphone – Part 1: Draft your statement

September 09, 2015 Blog-Admin1 Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Hynek Bures neu

Would you like to use your smartphone to record videos and share them with your colleagues? 

Hynek Bures, dubbed perceptions




Low budget storytelling – an example

August 05, 2015 Blog-Admin1 Let's Talk Visual, SDC Experiences, SDC Networks

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


In this blog post I want to share my story “The Power of Youth” made during the first digital storytelling workshop in June. I see it as an example on how to produce a story in limited time and with no visual material at hand.




By Carmen Eckert, SDC


Challenged by planning a learning event? Make it easy and visual with ‘Design for Wiser Action’

July 29, 2015 Blog-Admin1 Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools, SDC Experiences

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

SKU-WSJ-VONNAPlanning and designing a workshop involves many aspects; and often many people too. A visual planning canvas might be the right approach to make the first crucial move. Bring the organizing team, the core group or the mandate giver to the table and do the planning jointly.

By Nadia von Holzen, Mirjam Walser and Kuno Schläfli, SDC


How we produced our first digital stories

July 01, 2015 Blog-Admin1 Let's Talk Visual, Methods & Tools, SDC Experiences

Rating: 4.6 out of 5
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Group Digital Storytelling WSBeginning of June the division Knowledge, Learning and Culture of SDC organized a Digital Storytelling Workshop in Berne. Seven participants produced short videos reflecting their lived-experience of change, learning, success and challenges. This short video explains the production process starting with the story circle on day one and ending with the screening on day three.

By Nadia von Holzen with the support of the participants of the Digital Storytelling Workshop  (more…)

Why we need more visuals?

June 17, 2015 Blog-Admin1 Let's Talk Visual

Rating: 4.6 out of 5

Group Digital Storytelling WSWe need more visuals for many reasons. Photos, digital stories, drawings and graphic recording carry our learning. Stories illustrate insights in an understandable way and invite for further reflection. Making drawings during discussions adds an additional layer of understanding. In the information (over-) flow infographics and visual messages stand out, catch our attention, go to the heart and make us think. Our brains are hungry for stories and visualized information.

By Carmen, Dolgor, Jean, Kuno, Michal, Mirjam, Nadia and Soyolmaa participants of the digital storytelling workshop (more…)