UNICEF uses Widen Web-based Digital Asset Management to support its global digital archive and distribution system called “WeShare”. The UNICEF WeShare DAM system supports over 600 users in nearly 200 countries across 20 different roles with multiple levels of administration, supporting thousands of video, audio, branding and publications assets. WeShare provides searchable access to nearly 8,000 digital assets, including over 6,000 video assets. UNICEF provides video coverage of issues and events affecting children and women, including emergencies like the Haiti earthquake and current Pakistan flooding. These assets are shared with partners and across multiple regions and organizational divisions using the WeShare system to communicate UNICEF’s positions, raise awareness of issues and support international fundraising efforts.
Positioning for Global Contributions
UNICEF was founded by the United Nations in 1946 to help save, protect and improve the lives of children through immunization, education, healthcare, nutrition, clean water and sanitation. It delivers those services and material resources on a regular basis, and responds to emergencies throughout the world.
The UNICEF Web site at UNICEF.org is the primary channel for conveying information about activities in which the organization is involved. With field offices, regional offices and fundraising operations in 190 countries, UNICEF has deployed an enterprise Web content management (WCM) system that allows distributed editing and publishing of content, and localization of field office Web sites. Along with posting videos on YouTube, Facebook, and other social media channels, the organization reaches an audience of several million people each month. UNICEF also distributes assets on a regular basis to traditional broadcasters around the world.
Leveraging Video Asset Management for Global Humanitarian Aid
As rich media, particularly video, became more prevalent, UNICEF also saw a need for a DAM system that could help staff members deal more effectively with the increasing number of digital assets. As UNICEF deploys professional journalists and photographers into places where children are affected by crisis and serious ongoing challenges, video is the highest resolution format for quickly telling complex stories and effectively feeding into news cycles. Widen’s Web-based DAM allows UNICEF to store, retrieve and globally distribute the files quickly and easily. “WeShare” provides the platform for UNICEF to share these assets globally and between organizational divisions.
Building User Adoption with a Pilot Program
UNICEF started out with a pilot project to introduce the Widen Digital and Video Asset Management product to a small group of beta testers, which allowed for UNICEF to fine tune the system while ensuring early adoption and a sense of ownership by key stakeholders. The forward thinking and leadership in getting stakeholder buy-in and organizational adoption one phase at a time helped make the UNICEF Digital Asset Management initiative a success on a global scale.
The software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery model of Widen’s DAM platform removed the burden of installing and maintaining the software, plus the Widen’s long history of high-quality service helped UNICEF make sure their DAM deployment would be successful at every level.
Early adopters demonstrated the ability to quickly find the video clips they needed, along with scripts and shot lists. They were able to send those files directly to a journalist or news organization for review. UNICEF offices and partners can have access to up-to-date branding assets, as well as print publications files for localization, printing or electronic distribution. The success of the pilot program carried forth the global user adoption of the WeShare digital asset management system powered by Widen.
Examples of Global Contributions with the Help of Digital Asset Management
Example #1 – Haiti Earthquake
Beginning in January 2010 with the earthquake and resulting humanitarian disaster in Haiti, UNICEF has uploaded over 200 video and audio assets to the WeShare DAM system covering the humanitarian relief efforts, the continuing need for awareness and funding, and the effects on Haiti’s children. Major international media picked up on the story quickly. The WeShare system acted as a searchable archive and distribution hub allowing UNICEF’s communications staff, fundraisers and partners around the world to find the materials needed in a timely manner. Working across many time zones, UNICEF was able to respond quickly by using DAM search to find tailored materials to match local broadcaster opportunities, highlight the activities of UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador’s like Angélique Kidjo and Lionel Messi, as well as keeping international awareness high across many regional Internet channels.
Example #2 – Pakistan Flooding
Although traditional media was slower to pick up on the Pakistan flood emergency than happened with the Haiti earthquake, UNICEF’s coverage began quickly on 3 August, 2010, pushing out a series of audio and video files on the UNICEF.org Web site, social media channels, the “WeShare” DAM system and satellite feeds to broadcasters. As the crisis deepened over the first two weeks of August, UNICEF’s regional fundraising and communications headquarters in Geneva, as well as North American and European fundraising partners began actively picking up UNICEF Television video stories produced in New York on WeShare to help them raise money and awareness both on the Internet and with international broadcasters. Simultaneously special fundraising videos were produced in Geneva from the high resolution video stories and b-roll files available on WeShare, and then shared back with the global organization. The DAM became a central hub for quick sharing and global distribution of these powerful assets.
Example #3 – The Millennium Development Goals
In addition to responding to emergencies, UNICEF must communicate its long term work around the world. UNICEF creates digital communications materials including branded campaigns, digital publications files for download and local printing, as well as its award-winning UNICEF Television and Radio assets. UNICEF uses WeShare’s searchable archive and good metadata practices to make these assets easily available to its global offices and international fundraisers on a daily basis on diverse topics such as poverty, education, gender equality, child mortality, maternal health, disease, the environment, development and rights for children.