We have been working with aid agency CARE International to develop their capability to record, capture and share their work. Initial contact was established with CARE’s Communications Department in London in late 2007. CARE’s Head of Communications was open to the concept of the AHRC KTF scheme, and helped to arrange introductions with Deborah Underwood, who is now the main liaison between BCU and CARE.

The first stage of the project was to assist with the creation of audio downloads for CARE’s UK website. Several meetings were held to discuss the shape this audio would take and to carry out interviews with CARE staff.

A training session on portable recording techniques was held with CARE Field Officer Kate Aktar and reinforced with learning materials drawn from the undergraduate programmes in the Birmingham School of Media. Kate used this knowledge to gather audio from her visits to various Tsunami Relief projects in India. The audio was in turn utilised in several audio downloads on the main website for CARE International. A meeting was held between myself, Andrew Dubber, Deborah and James (CARE UK’s new web manager) in London to discuss possibilities for CARE’s re-vamped website.

Here are examples of the work we have helped produced for CARE’s website so far:

Current Project Status

Media training is the next stage for the project. Marketing Director for CARE International UK, Carol Monoyois, hopes that the project will “give our staff the confidence through training to go out and gather materials such as video, photography and audio that will be a high quality” – and added “with the help of BCU we would like to raise the profile of our work around the world”.

An interview was recorded with CARE’s Amber Miekle has been used as the basis of an audio-slideshow designed to bring attention to CARE’s “Edge of Emergency” campaign. This is an example of a new form of media being introduced to CARE’s website – and they are excited about the possibilities of exploring this technique further. CARE have picked up the ball and made their own example using audio provided by BCU. (On CARE’s history).

While on a research trip to Addis Ababa I took the opportunity to carry out further interviews with members of CARE’s Ethiopian team. These will form the basis of a future series of podcasts / audio-slideshows. Deborah Underwood is travelling to Rwanda in early ‘09 – and due to our recommendation has purchased a “flip” camera to take with her. She’s asked that we help edit these on her return to help demonstrate their capabilities to CARE’s management – and provide fresh video content for the website.

The relationship with CARE International has progressed well over the course of the KTF scheme. This is a long term project that I hope will be continued until the end of the KFT process.

Birmingham Centre For Media And Cultural Research

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