The videos, a series of news features produced in Zambia last year, won for excellence in government relations documentation, editing, and cinematography.
The Telly Awards, in their 29th year, honor excellence in local and regional television and cable commercials, programming, film production, and online video. Last year’s Telly Awards received more than 14,000 entries from five continents, including all 50 U.S. states.
"We’re honored by the awards and extremely proud of the work we’ve been doing in Zambia,” said Nancy Jaffie, the director of the project.
The project, a joint effort by USAID and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, has been working since July 2006 to streamline business-registration processes and to limit opportunities for corruption in key institutions. It has worked closely with the Zambian Revenue Authority, the Department of Immigration, and other agencies, as well as civil society and business associations.
In May 2007, the project hired Andy Field and Strat Zervos, both affiliated with ABC News, to document its work. Over 10 days, Field and Zervos filmed and interviewed dozens of business owners, truck drivers, students, non-profit workers, government officials, and others in an effort to capture the essence of the project and report on the results it had achieved.
“We're thrilled they recognized the good work Chemonics has done there and the work we did documenting it,” said Field, who runs Field Vision Productions out of Rockville, Maryland.
The videos were originally produced for an official project ceremony last year in the Zambian capital, Lusaka. Since then, they have been shown to Zambian diplomats in Washington, D.C., and posted on Chemonics’ Web site.
The videos showcase some of the impressive results the project has accomplished. So far, the project has reduced the time it takes to register a business from 11 days to one day, implemented codes of ethics in several government agencies, put immigration systems online to make them easier and more transparent, and helped reduce border congestion by almost 80 percent.
With the project’s assistance, the Zambian government hopes to reduce corruption and qualify for additional U.S. foreign assistance through the MCC.
The Telly Awards were founded in 1980. Past winners include the Discovery Channel, Jim Henson Company, Iowa Public Television, and Microsoft.