Ethical considerations are key to Video for Change given its alignment with the human rights sector, with marginalised and excluded communities, and with frequent focus on challenging powerful institutions and actors.
Video for Change approaches don’t only focus on creating change from the bottom-up, many practitioners aim to target policy and legal change (top-down) and may utilise more traditional forms of documentary making. However, a Video for Change approach would usually highlight, if not make central, the needs of the actors, communities and movements the initiative seeks to support.
We have adopted six values and methods that form the basis for our impact framework:
- Clear rationale
- Power analysis
- Participation and Inclusion
- Mitigating risk
The first two are most relevant at the beginning of a Video for Change initiative, while the following four are relevant to all stages.
These values and methods do not imply that video-makers working outside the Video for Change field are not fully aligned with these values or are somehow working unethically. For us they shape the guiding principles that underpin a practical framework for measuring impact.
The selected values and methods, although creating some limitations and extra resource demands, provide opportunities for the deep engagement that contributes to meaningful social impact. Applying these values and methods can create the mutual respect required to develop long-term, trusting relationships. A Video for Change initiative can use these relationships to increase participation, dialogue and influence over a longer period of time.
The Video for Change values and methods can be seen as a holistic framework, however it isn’t necessary to use of all of them. They may not all be feasible with your resources or apply to your context and strategy – utilise them when and where appropriate, observing the changes to your initiative.
If you’d like to learn more about these values and methods and why they are so important to Video for Change please read our research paper.