Cover Image
close this bookRecording and Using Indigenous Knowledge: A Manual (IIRR, 1996, 211 p.)
close this folderPart 1 Indigenous knowledge and development
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentHow the manual was compiled
View the documentHow to use the manual
View the documentWhat is indigenous knowledge?
View the documentWho knows what?
View the documentCharacteristics of local systems
View the documentWhy is indigenous knowledge useful?
View the documentHelping communities conserve their IK
View the documentUsing indigenous knowledge in development
View the documentRecording IK in communities
View the documentIntellectual property rights
close this folderPart 2 Recording and assessment methodologies
close this folderRecording methods
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentSources and documentation of IK
close this folderSample selection
View the documentHow to draw a sample
View the documentIdentifying indigenous specialists
close this folderObservation and interviewing
View the documentCase studies
View the documentField observation
View the documentIn-depth interviews
View the documentInterviewing
View the documentParticipant observation
View the documentParticipative technology analysis
View the documentSurveys
close this folderWorking with groups
View the documentBrainstorming
View the documentFive questions
View the documentGames
View the documentGroup discussions
View the documentRole play
View the documentStrengths and weaknesses
View the documentSWOT analysis
View the documentVillage reflections
View the documentVillage workshop
close this folderUsing diagram
View the documentFlow chart
View the documentHistorical comparison
View the documentIllustrations and diagrams
View the documentMapping
View the documentMatrix
View the documentModeling bioresource flows
View the documentSeasonal Pattern chart
View the documentSorting and ranking
View the documentTaxonomies
View the documentTransect
View the documentVenn (or chapti) diagramming
View the documentWebbing
close this folderAudio-visual media
View the documentCassette documentation
View the documentParticipatory video
View the documentPhoto/slide documentation
close this folderPart 3 Assessment of indigenous knowledge
View the documentAssessing IK
View the documentCriteria for assessing IK
View the documentTapping assessment
View the documentUsing western science methods to assess IK
View the documentMonitoring and evaluation
close this folderPart 4 Mini-case studies - How development can build on IK
View the documentMini-case studies
View the documentProblem identification and prioritization in Kiko Rosa, Philippines
View the documentCommunity manged health in Pinagsanjaan, Philippines
View the documentIncorporation of local free species in an agroforestry project in Layong Mabilog Philippines
View the documentLocal vegetable varieties for home gardening programs
View the documentTraditional animal dispersal schemes in Cavite, Philippines
View the documentIncreasing food Production in Negros, Philippines
View the documentOvercoming labor shortages through indigenous mutual-help groups
View the documentPromoting the use of IK in Venezuela
View the documentFarmers' experiments in teak germination in Sri Lanka
View the documentPromoting an indigenous savings scheme in Ethiopia
close this folderPart 5 - Question guides
View the documentQuestion guides
View the documentGender and indigenous knowledge
View the documentFarmer-to-farmer extension and farmer experimentation
View the documentSoil fertility
View the documentCropping systems
View the documentGardening
View the documentAgroforestry
View the documentWatershed management
View the documentEnvironment, natural resources. and biodiversity
View the documentCoastal resource s management
View the documentAquaculture
View the documentAnimal husbandry and healthcare
View the documentFood and nutrition
View the documentReproductive health and family planning
View the documentWater and sanitation
View the documentHealth financing schemes
View the documentHealthcare systems
View the documentOccupational health
View the documentOrganizations and leadership
View the documentCredit and savings
View the documentEnterprise development
View the documentCommunication
close this folderPart 6 - Resources
View the documentAbbreviations and definitions
View the documentReferences
View the documentAddresses
View the documentProject staff and contributors

Photo/slide documentation


Taking photographs as prints or slides. Individual prints or slides can stand on their own or be shown in sequence with narration to convey complex messages or illustrate themes.


To preserve images—objects, practices, and dynamic processes in a community. Photos are useful for recording baseline data, visually chronicling implementation, and in monitoring and evaluation. They can also stimulate discussion and action by local people and by outside organizations.


- 35mm camera
- Flash and batteries
- Film
- Paper, marking pens and push-pins
- Notebook and pencil

Possible approach

Photographe can be used in many different ways. The process below describes how to use photos in a simple exhibit or slide-tape program that you can use in a training course.


Identify a problem for which photographs can help. (For example: you have been assigned to introduce a number of IK practices to a large group of people. You might choose to prepare a slide presentation.)

Identify your target audience (see assette documentation).

Set your objectives. What do you want the audience to think, feel, or do after they have seen your photos?

Gather and review, if necessary, available photos and references related to your topic from the community, local government units, and libraries.

Prepare a topic outline, a list of shots to take, and/or a script.

Make sure your camera works.


Make it clear to everyone concerned that photographs will be taken. If needed, ask for permission.

Explain your objectives, who and what you want to photograph, and who will see the presentation.

Follow your shooting guide or script to document the practices you need to record. As far as possible, take pictures of people and objects in their natural settings. Take more photos than you need in case some do not come out as desired. after shooting

After shooting

Review your shots and label them (event, actors, date, significant details, including any information on IK).

Select the shots you need and put them in a logical sequence.

Write or refine the narrative to accompany the shots.

Prepare the presentation.

Prints: You can put prints in an album for presentation, or make an exhibit (it's best to use enlargements for this purpose). Write or type labels with a narrative to accompany the photos. Pin them on the wall 50 readers or visitors can follow them without any extra explanation.

Slides: It is best to keep a slide set in a projector tray. You can make title slides by writing with chalk on a blackboard and then taking a picture of it. You can write the narration (with notes on when to change the slides) on paper and keep this with the slide set. Or, you can record the narration on an audiocassette and play it back while you show the slides.

Pretest your shots or your slide show with members of the target audience. Assess the impact on the audience. Note how they react. Change the individual shots or the sequence and narrative if necessary.

Use the finished exhibit or slide-tape program as planned.

Store the slides prints and negatives in a well-ventilated place free of insects, dust and humidity (an air-conditioned room is best). Make sure they are labelled and ordered in a way that enables you to find photographs easily.


- Photography is a powerful, yet simple, low-cost way to capture detailed images. Photos can show objects, events or processes.

- They can stimulate discussion and preserve, promote, and disseminate details of a people's culture, practices, traditions, and lifestyle.

- Photos can also be used in many other ways—for instance, as illustrations in publications. on posters, and as stills in video programs.

- They are a particularly effective way of communicating IK to people outside the local community.

Dos and don'ts

- Get as close as possible to your subject when shooting. The moat common mistake in photography is to stand too far away— causing the subject to appear too small in the print or slide. If you cannot get up close, use a telephoto lens

- During shooting, be guided by your script or shot guide. Try to avoid taking photographs just for "documentation." try to keep a purpose in mind when you are shooting. Buying and processing many rolls of film is expensive.

- Avoid creating distractions while taking photographs.

- Take your photos in the natural setting of the object or event. Try to avoid "posed" shots, with everyone looking directly at the camera.

- Encourage community members to prepare their own photo and slide shows. People can easily be trained in basic photography.

Compiled by Anna Reylene J. Montes