CLICK HERE to learn more about the Green Agenda methodology and the communities’ experiences
This video was created as a regional compilation of “A window to the Green Agenda in the Western Balkans, local storytelling through Participatory Video” project.
Green Agenda is a participatory process to promote greater involvement of local people in shaping their own environment and influencing local level policy-making. Between 2007 and 2010, 18 communities from 6 countries in the Western Balkans worked to develop their Green Agenda, coordinated by Millieukontakt - a Dutch NGO - and Kocka, an NGO from Macedonia. InsightShare worked in partnership with them to use participatory video for collective storytelling in the last year of the Green Agenda process (December 2009-2010).
The community Green Agenda processes were coordinated by local NGOs, who were given training to set up and facilitate multi-stakeholder working groups including active citizens and local government, businesses and education institutions. The working groups used participatory approaches to debate issues and prepare a sustainable local strategy and action plan. The process included writing-up the local Green Agenda and getting it passed as local policy, as well as implementing pilot projects proposed within it.
Participatory video provided a pathway to widen the ripples of Green Agenda, raise awareness of the process, share knowledge, build skills and strengthen advocacy. Millieukontakt and Kocka were also interested in the raising awareness of the Green Agenda methodology, the impacts in peoples’ lives and influencing policy at national and regional levels. InsightShare helped the communities to create their own 15-30 minute films, for use mainly in a local context and for sharing with other communities. Later, we helped them aggregate the films made by the three communities in each country into shorter national films, with a broader target audience, and finally a single regional trailer.
To begin this process, we trained one person from each community to be video coaches; to be part of the trainers’ team during fieldwork and develop skills to support their own groups in the future. Local groups used participatory exercises to identify and focus on their target audiences before planning their films, and Kocka and Millieukontakt were consulted to define the audiences for the national films. There were crossovers in the selected audiences: local community groups, decision makers and the media. In order to connect with these varied audiences, a variety of outputs was needed.
The process of making the community videos enabled a wider group to come together to reflect on the achievements and challenges of the Green Agenda process, and learn how to communicate its importance and value through film. This focused the groups and enabled more people from the communities to become involved in the Green Agenda process. Participation was high, in terms of numbers, time, commitment and enthusiasm, and this had important outcomes. There was a high degree of consensus building, reflection and collective working, which along with the new skills and approaches increased the capacity of the groups to act for themselves. These positive changes and relationships happened before the story even left the video camera!
A key concern for us was to balance the participatory process and the work towards an output for wider use. During the fieldwork, the trainers and video coaches facilitated regular local screenings of material. The groups created paper edits together and an initial draft version of the film was developed and screened for approval or to elicit different people’s inputs. At a regional participatory editing workshop, video coaches finished their communities’ films based on the feedback they had collected. This was a crucial time for them to feed in their ideas on the content that should be in to the national films using our paper edit method. Reproducing the audiovisual timeline in paper, the participants represent with drawing the footage in stickies and go through a group consensus process to agree on the final order of their film. You can learn more about the paper edit method from the InsightShare Rights-Based Approach to Participatory Video Toolkit.
CLICK HERE to see the 18 community films.