The idea for the Video for Change Impact Cookbook came from the first Video for Change Convening in Yogyakarta, Indonesia in 2012. At the event we realised each organisation had varied ways of describing what impact was–although our methods and objectives were often very similar–so we decided to create this toolkit to compile our knowledge and approaches.

We also discovered that how we designed for and evaluated impact was different, as was the language we used. Whilst a couple of groups were quite advanced in their impact thing, most needed help to better understand how they were being effective, or perhaps not.

Given the similarities of our work, we also felt it was important to develop more of a shared language, so we could build stronger conversations and strategies.

People doing Video for Change felt it was essential that Video for Change initiatives didn’t strive for impact at any cost and that initiatives were also measured on their unintended or negative impacts. This led us to do some work in better understanding common or shared ethics that inform Video for Change practitioners and included a survey of practitioners. This work identified the core Values and Methods that form one of the pillars of this toolkit.

The second pillar of the toolkit is what we refer to as Impact Pathways.  We define Impact Pathways as the different stages in the process of a video initiative at which impact is possible. Video for Change activities can include research and design, capacity building, production, distribution, outreach and evaluation. This means that our impact framework considers the entire initiative–rather than just the distribution, outreach and engagement–when designing for and assessing impact. 

This toolkit has been produced for three key audiences:

  1. Established Video for Change organisations, including the Video4Change Network member organisations who already use video-making as an approach to create positive, social change.
  2. Individual video-makers looking for resources that will help them to safely and effectively use video as an approach to change-making.
  3. Non-profit organisations considering using Video for Change in their work.

We have designed this toolkit to be appropriate for both individuals and organisations that are working with or without funding.

The Cookbook is not a comprehensive Video for Change how-to guide –  it won’t help you shoot and edit your film. Its focus is on helping Video for Change practitioners design for and evaluate social impact.