ALM-SGP Photo Story Toolkit - January 2011

Photo Stories are a powerful communication tool that can be used to bring innovative and visually appealing narratives of on-the-ground community projects. Communicating valuable information to a larger audience, Photo Stories offer a simple way compile individual photos in to a video format with captions, audio narration, background music and other features.

This Toolkit for creating Photo Stories benefited from the contributions from the Adaptation Learning Mechanism (ALM) and the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP).

Established in 1992, the GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) embodies the very essence of sustainable development by “thinking globally acting locally”. Over the past 18 years, the GEF Small Grants Programme has invested $450million and leveraged similar levels of co-financing for over 12,000 projects by communities in 122 countries. The programme provides financial and technical support to community projects that conserve and restore the environment while enhancing people’s well-being and livelihoods. A main element of SGP is its mission to build the capacity of the communities and facilitate knowledge capture, sharing and exchange between communities and from communities at the local level with global key stakeholders and policymakers.

This Photo Story Toolkit aroused from the common goal of ALM and SGP to contribute and facilitate the exchange of knowledge produced by communities implementing environmental projects.
In June 2009 the ALM team was looking to develop more innovative features for the website. Out of the range of options that ALM was considering the Photo Story software was chosen for several reasons. First of all, it is a free platform which is natively supported by the operating system in use on more than 93% of the world's computers (this figure boasts an even higher percentage in the developing world). Secondly, it is very user-friendly and thirdly, it does not require serious hardware resources – just a camera and a computer.

From November to February 2010, the GEF Small Grants Programme SGP worked with several local communities and pilot tested this knowledge product with great rates of success. Through this process of collecting photos, creating captions and adding audio narration using Microsoft Photo Story software, SGP communities created 5 high quality and visually captivating Photo Stories.

Followed by that success SGP revised and expanded the toolkit and released it massively to all its staff and communities. From March to May 2010, SGP produced more than 120 Photo Stories from 5 regions around the world and covering a wide spectrum of focal areas. View some of the completed PhotoStories here. 

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