The Picha Shaha Initiative (Swahili for Picture Storyteller)

Through our collective work with various international agencies and NGO’s, we recognise there is an ongoing requirement for skilled *in the field* photographers and videographers – preferably local, ideally from the region.

Panos Pictures currently have a database of trusted photographers with a range of expertise in different regions of the world to meet that need.

However, with the appetite of social media and the increasing sophistication of Fundraising and Communication teams, it is clear that there is also an urgent need for a more comprehensive approach to media collection and broadcast.

The urgent requirement for pictures and stories often happen because of a crisis which invariably involves a human element. It’s important therefore, when relaying these stories to include information around:

  • What life was like before
  • What caused the change in circumstance
  • What the agency is doing to help / affect a return to life before the event
  • What’s expected from the future
  • In addition, the name and consent of the individual(s) should be secured and personal quotes where possible.

Whilst many agencies are pursuing this best practice approach – it requires considerable training, consistency of staff and management.

A training programme is being designed to educate and acknowledge photographers, videographers and story gatherers across the Panos network. This means that *in the field* personnel who are already trusted members of our network will be offered advanced media training in how to collect stories and content specifically for fundraising but also for social media sharing as well as well as specialist communication crisis reports from the field.

This accreditation system identifies existing media skills as well as offering training and categorisation to all of our current 107 photographers in 43 countries. This will enable clients to have quick and easy access to individuals in the field when time is short and a trusted professional with local knowledge, language and most importantly the skills and understanding of what is required.

Clients can of course choose to either hire one of our *qualified* network for a specific project – or even contract the services of our team to build their own internal capacity.

We will continue to recruit new members from all over the world, though each new individual will need to adhere to our best practice protocol which we hope will become publicly recognised the industry standard.



Photographer © Andrew McConnell

37 year old Josephine Mpongo practises the cello in the Kimbanguiste neighbourhood of Kinshasa. She plays with the Kimbanguiste Symphony Orchestra, who practise here 5 days per week.



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