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Media, Human Rights and Technology Takes Centre Stage for Participants in Myanmar

Updated: Dec 12, 2022

Picture People’s Executive Co-Directors, Claudia Modonesi and Nick Danziger facilitated a five-week long multidisciplinary course this past October and November to 32 participants based in Myanmar.

Developed by Picture People and supported by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), the course, consisting of 12 online interactive training sessions, aimed to advance participants’ understanding about the connection between media, human rights, and technology, as well as strengthen their skills in communication, documentation and reporting relevant stories safely and effectively.

“The course has been specifically designed to provide representatives of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Community Based Organisations (CBOs) with greater clarity and confidence in navigating the complex challenges of working in these organisations in Myanmar through this current period of uncertainty,” commented Modonesi.

During the course, participants were provided with an in-depth review of how digital technologies impact human rights both positively and negatively, how one can use video and digital media to influence change and advance human rights and advocacy, and develop their skills in interviewing techniques and ethics in visual documentation.

“By combining the sessions with input from outside speakers and experts such as Kimina Lyall fro for Journalism and Trauma, and Egbert Wits from EngageMedia, participants had the chance to learn, share, reflect and discuss these topics with each other and actively participate in the case studies, “added Danziger.

According to the post-training evaluation survey, the highly positive responses reflect the high level of participants’ satisfaction, and an acknowledgment of them gaining valuable knowledge and skills that they will apply in their work. A quarter of participants stated they would share their new skills with work colleagues, followed by their community and friends. ‘Taking pictures with your smartphone’ was voted the most interesting training session.

Participants also appreciated the practical teaching approach, the extensive use of visual media to illustrate examples and/or case studies, as well as the use of a variety of online teaching tools to foster collaborative work.

Modonesi mentioned “we feel the evaluation results also underline the need to mainstream the use of digital media for communication, documentation, and advocacy work in the human rights teaching arena, and the thirst of the different target groups to catch up and update on content, approaches and methodologies in line with the evolving technological landscape”.

This multidisciplinary course is one of three courses offered by Picture People over the past year to CSOs and CBOs in Myanmar in conjunction with DANIDA.

All teaching activities and communications were held in English with simultaneous translation in Burmese.

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