Ethical considerations are essential to effective, impactful Video for Change. It is crucial that Video for Change practitioners understand the underlying values and methods in this approach given its unique alignment with the human rights sector and social movements, its focus on collaboration with affected communities and members of social movements, and its frequent focus on challenging powerful institutions and actors.
The Video for Change framework articulates the following foundational values and methods:
- Impact Statement — How can we increase the chance for positive and lasting social impact?
- Power Analysis — What are the power dynamics within this process and how can we address or level them?
- Participation and Inclusion — Where and how can we build participation into the process in an empowering and effective way?
- Accountability and Transparency — How can we be responsible to and respectful to our communities via accountability and transparency?
- Risk Management — What implications could our activities have for those involved, and how can we manage risk?
Applying these values and methods provides opportunities for meaningful social impact and lays the foundation for long-term, trusting and productive relationships through a focus on mutual respect.
Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed
These methods may place extra resource demands or limits on your plans, but it isn’t necessary to address all of them during the planning or implementation of your initiative. They may not all be feasible with your resources or be relevant to your context and strategy. It is best to utilise them when and where appropriate.
For example, the ‘Impact Statement’ and ‘Power Analysis’ methods are most relevant during initial planning phases of a Video for Change initiative. The subsequent three values — Participation and Inclusion, Accountability and Transparency, and Risk Management — are applicable throughout the entire life-cycle of your Video for Change initiative.
Our articulation of these values and methods doesn’t imply that video-makers who work outside the Video for Change field don’t embrace these values or that they work unethically. Rather, these values and methods shape the guiding principles of Video for Change practice, and are the foundation for a practical framework for measuring impact.
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.