Impact Statements

An ‘Impact Statement’ outlines the mission and vision for the initiative and communicates your impact strategy to all stakeholders, particularly the most affected.

Before launching a Video for Change initiative, it is crucial to outline your desired impact and the value it aims to bring to a community. Knowing what your video needs to achieve will shape the way you create, present and distribute your video. Furthermore, defining your impact strategy is an important collaborative process that involves those who want to benefit from your initiative.

Video for Change initiatives often ask individuals or communities to contribute their time or resources to support a initiative. Before they commit, you need to invite these individuals and communities to enhance the initiative’s aim and narrative. You also need to inform them about the nature of their commitment and the benefit they — and other stakeholders — will gain from participation.

To draft your Impact Statement, consider and answer the following questions, ideally with the consultation of everybody involved in your initiative:

  • What kind of social change do you want to see happening as a result of your video?
  • What, and for whom, are the anticipated impacts and benefits of your Video for Change initiative vis-à-vis the affected community(ies)? Or for others?
  • Why are you choosing video to advance social change?
  • Why are you choosing to work with(in) a specific community(ies)?
  • What are the impacts that the community has been aiming for?
  • How does your Video for Change initiative fit within a landscape of existing movements and efforts?

Once you’ve written out your impact strategy into an Impact Statement, it will be important to do two things:

  • First, continue to communicate openly and clearly with your stakeholders (e.g. local government, activist groups in the area, local schools, community groups, etc.) about how your initiative is progressing throughout its implementation.
  • Second, revisit the Impact Statement throughout the initiative to ensure that it continues to be relevant and responsive to the community’s needs.
Impact Statement example: Ahu Parmalim

Consider the short film Ahu Parmalim, produced by the Indonesian organisation Kampung Halaman. It presents the story of a teenage boy who practices the Parmalim religion, which is little known or understood in Indonesia.

Let’s take a look at what an Impact Statement for this project might be.

  • What kind of social change do you want to see happening as a result of your video?

In the short-term, we want to expose audiences in Indonesia to the minority religion and culture of the Parmalim people, particularly Parmalim youth, who often lack access to education and labour markets because of prejudice and discrimination. The goal of this exposure is to contribute to a longer-term shift. We want Indonesian people to understand and appreciate the richness of the Parmalim people’s religion and culture in order to reduce stigma and discrimination, to create acceptance and solidarity throughout the country, and to positively shift attitudes towards access to employment and political engagement.

  • What, and for whom, are the anticipated impacts and benefits of your Video for Change initiative vis-à-vis the affected community(ies)? Or for others?

For Indonesian audiences who are not Parmalim: We anticipate stimulating a discussion on access to opportunity and reduction of stigma, prejudice and discrimination, as well as heightened awareness, acceptance and appreciation of Parmalim customs and religion. We anticipate this leading in the longer term to changing individual and collective behaviour in the form of educational and employment opportunities.

For members of the affected community, Parmalim youth: We anticipate increased knowledge about their community, and comfort around discussions of their customs and culture. We anticipate reduced exclusion from jobs in the long term.

  • Why are you choosing video to advance social change?

We want to profile a Parmalim family who represents the community and can tell the story of the joys of their culture as well as the challenges of being an ethnic and religious minority in Indonesia. Video is the best way to show and evoke emotion through the beauty of the religious practice, and is also the most accessible medium for audiences throughout the country to experience the Batak culture.

  • Why are you choosing to work with(in) a specific community(ies)?

Kampung Halaman has direct contact and a strong relationship with members of the Batak community. The main character of our film, Carles, has approached us directly to work with him and his family to help him tell and distribute his story.

  • What are the impacts that the community has been aiming for?

The community wants exposure and greater understanding of who they are and what challenges they face in Indonesia. They hope this exposure can lead to and contribute to greater access and opportunities for their youth.

  • How does your Video for Change initiative fit within a landscape of existing movements and efforts?

Within Indonesia there are several NGOs fighting for more religious tolerance, which are part of the ‘Solidaritas Bhineka Tunggal Ika’ group. As religious intolerance is currently on the rise, the national government has also given more attention to religious tolerance. New legislation is being debated, which would allow minority religions on national identity cards.

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