Today, while I was browsing Twitter, I noticed a tweet by USAID:
Clicking on that link will lead you to a USAID blog post where they are asking for video submissions for their event #Popcorn + International Development as a part of Social Media Week in Washington D,C. Social Media Week is a “worldwide event exploring the social, cultural and economic impact of social media” (About Us, socialmediaweek.org) and takes place in several cities. USAID is asking its development partners to submit videos to be considered for viewing to “highlight how we rely on technology for a multitude of reasons, including program management and reporting, and general educational purposes for a range of projects, funded by USAID.” (USAID Impact Blog, 2013)
Like the video we watched in class, USAID is looking to use video and social media to communicate and improve ICT4D initiatives and projects. I think this is an interesting and worthy idea, provided that the videos are seen and used, because by creating and distributing these videos, it allows a greater audience to learn from current and past project’s mistakes and successes in a tangible and cost-efficient way. These videos can also be a great tool for updating stakeholders of progress and for attracting potential donors and supporters (a la Invisible Children’s KONY2012.)
The only thing that worries me is that because these videos are being created from within the organization, it can be too easy to edit and manipulate what is shown. Videos cannot tell the whole picture and we must be critical of bias and the objective of the creator.
If you are interested in viewing submission sent to USAID, they can be viewed on USAID’s Youtube channel.