by Harutyun Gevorgyan, Armenia, ELP 2015
Written on August 13, 2015.
As with any program, the Environmental Leadership Program also needs an evaluation. By evaluating the program, we make an assessment, to analyze project objectives, development effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability. Actually evaluation can be different; it depends on the situation, project requirements, project context, etc.
The evaluation itself should cover not only all activities, which has been done during the program, but also some photos and other necessary illustrated materials should be added. In my understanding, one of the most highly used forms is photo reporting, when you can present photos from all your activities. And by doing so, the evaluator can understand the project and what kind of visible outcomes you had.
What is the difference between ELP and other projects? It was highly interactive with intensive participatory actions (all participants are actively involved in almost all processes, generally any academic lecture does not exist, but in contrary, more discussions took place) that were very diverse (almost all activities are different) and very fast-paced (we saw one process, but we should move forward quickly because there are so many other things we should see in the frame of ELP). So now the questions, if you want to participate, listen the lectures, and report all your activities, you should be very attentive and behave accordingly to the situation.
Of course for your photo reporting you can take photos of the current activities and move forward, but I have a theory, that the quality is a bit different, when you or your face appears in the photos, which makes an effect of participatory actions. I understand this theory since in my professional activities I had an opportunity to lecture quite often and I saw from students’ and other participants’ feedback that if in your presentations you show just a photo of the exact activity, it can be fine, but when you show a photo where you are involved (your body or your face are in the photos), it gives a totally other taste to your presentation and makes it more qualified. After understanding this a few years ago, I always try to take photos not only for the presenting activities, but also taking selfies, getting photos with my face, because I know that when I use them I will have better presentations.
Besides that, you want to share your feelings and experiences in social nets for your friends and other people, which will make them learn and also think what’s going on around them. I like when I received comments and likes from my Facebook friends, which means that they are following me and I can share my stories with them.
But what is another advantage of selfies? During the intensive learning process, all participants are very busy. They do not have time or are not in the mood to use their time for taking your photos anytime you need. But with selfies, you can do it alone and have the same outcome. And even more, if you ask someone to take your photos, he/she will take only one and will finish, and I can tell you for sure that the quality of that photo usually is not good. And therefore you need more, in order to get a better one. But at the same time you feel uncomfortable to ask for another photo. With selfies, you can take as many photos as you want and then later you can select the best one, which you like and which fits with your interests.
By saying so, during the 3 full weeks of the ELP, I took about 4000 photos (I counted all the selfie photos I took). Initially I got a lot of Jokes from ELP participants about it, but at the end I see that about 50% of participants started to do the same and even some more people, who never took a single photo, started to take selfies too.
To conclude, I just want to ask a question. What the lecturers do during their lectures, is that not a selfie of their knowledge? What specialists do during their job, is that not a selfie of their skills? And what the Earth does with us, is that not a selfie of its weather and climate change?
So, always take your selfie stick with you, learn, get practice and take photos.