Top 10 International Development Videos 2022

It’s been quite a while since I last posted my lists of favourite YouTube videos which cover issues related to development, so I thought it was time for a new list! To be honest, I haven’t seen as many good videos as I used to in previous years. Perhaps charities and NGOs are allocating their social media spend on Instagram and TikTok instead?

MSF Norway – Anti-Racism: When you picture Doctors Without Borders, what do you see?

I love this video which explains MSF Norway’s approach to reduce racist stereotypes of white saviours and powerless victims. See my longer blog post for more information.

Chance for Childhood – #Overexposed Campaign

In a similar vain to MSF, this video explains how Chance for Childhood have decided to remove identifiable features of children in their campaigns. My thoughts in another blog post.

Oxfam – 75 years of second hand style

Simple shareable video promoting second hand fashion in the build up to Christmas.

Save the Children – 2022 A Year in Pictures and the stories behind them

Brilliant campaign which explains the stories behind the photography process! There is also a great accompanying microsite.

Charity Water – The journey of your donation

Simple video explaining how donations reach communities around the world.

Greenpeace – The TRUTH about our recycling – The Big Plastic Count Results

Effective explainer about the UK recycling system and its many flaws.

Doctors Without Borders UK – Can storytelling help to save lives?

Similar to the first two videos, this video explains the process of co-creating stories of change. Some nice animations but the audio quality is quite poor in parts.

UNICEF – We throw out 3 e-waste objects for every newborn

I’m a huge fan of collage which is probably why this caught my eye, however there are some interesting facts in this video explainer about e-waste.

Amnesty International – How companies from your country may be linked to war crimes in Myanmar

Some disturbing facts in this reportage style video. Great graphics.

Plan International and Karma’s World: Collaboration

Plan International’s first-ever animated Global Ambassador. Interesting….

Save the Children – 2022: a year in pictures and the stories behind them

2022 A Year in Pictures

I love this video and microsite about Save the Children’s 30 favourite photos from 2022 which aims to show that children were not passive victims or simply observers.

Some wonderful insights from the photographers of how they went about capturing these images. I’ve heard of a few of the photographers from EveryDay Africa, but would love to see more of the other photographers work. It’s a shame each photographer did not have a hyperlink to their potfolios.

But this is a minor criticism of a fantastic campaign. Well done Save the Children.

OVEREXPOSED – should images of children be used in charity fundraising?

Chance for Childhood is a relatively small charity with an income of just less the £1million. The first time I heard of the charity was when they recently launched their #OverExposed campaign which “seeks to reframe thinking and create better practices and policies around child-centred imagery and storytelling.” As part the campaign they have taken the decision to remove identifiable features of children from imagery and video footage, including removing children’s faces from all fundraising campaigns.

The campaign was launched at the House of Lords (I’m not sure how this was achieved?) and is also supported by David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham and Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs.

David is no stranger to debates around charity imagery and accused Comic Relief of White Saviourism when they sent Strictly Come Dancing winner and journalist Stacey Dooley to Uganda to document some of their programming work. Like David, I applaud the decision by Chance for Childhood to remove images of children from their fundraising appeals, but can you solve ethical storytelling by simply removing children’s faces? I suppose it’s a start.

The narrator in the launch video, who is anonymised, asks 4 questions:

  1. What is a segmented, multi-channel donation campaign?
  2. Why is my picture on social media profiles that aren’t mine?
  3. Why is it ok for my image to be published all over the internet, when most parents would not allow it?
  4. Is that ok? Is that ethical? Is that fair?

I like the video, and a great deal of effort has been put into this campaign. The House of Lords launch, support from a prominent MP and the establishment of a resource hub which includes an introductory webinar and five videos:

  1. How do we centre children’s rights and well-being in our stories?
  2. What is informed consent and what are the challenges we face?
  3. Using positive strength-based language in our work
  4. Reducing the risks of telling stories online
  5. How does power impact the collection and usage of stories and images of children?

I confess I haven’t watched the five videos but I did watch the hour long webinar which is chaired by Chance for Childhood staff member Lucy who leads a discussion with Grace and Felicien from Rwanda, and Bokey from Kenya. It’s worth watching and I won’t go into too much detail here but I will just raise a few questions and comments. Firstly, Lucy says that they launched the campaign as “no one is having a public conversation”. This is a bit odd as the Resource Hub Introduction document references “three key guides” – the Dignified Storytelling Handbook, Putting the People in the Picture First: Ethical Guidelines for Collection and Use of Content and DOCHAS Code of Conduct on Images and Messages. Considering that the DOCHAS Code of Conduct was written in 2014, I would say this discussion has been going on some time! I don’t deny the #OverExposed campaign comes from a good place, but the focus seems very much like an overt piece of PR for Chance for Childhood.

For me, one of the strongest statements in the webinar is from Grace, who is a former refugee in Rwanda who says “they take pictures of our pain”. Another statement that resonated with me was from Bokey who is the founder of Glad’s House Kenya. Bokey says that there are two problems trying to stop organisations using images of children: locally people believe negative imagery gives them priority to funding to alleviate the situation and secondly, international donors want to see the situation to justify the needs to send funds. Bokey has also written a blog post “Real change only comes if INGO or International donors don’t ask for photos”. In the blog Bokey says:

The world is smaller now. You can easily lose control of the image you share, and it can be used somewhere else…That image will haunt them forever. Children will be defined for the rest of their lives by a moment in time.

On the whole I think this campaign (like the others before) is an important addition to the discussions around protecting the dignity of “distant others”. Removing children’s faces is a start, but more needs to be done to improve agency and ensuring that children know their rights when people ask to take their pictures. In the webinar Grace says

We no longer say giving a voice to the voiceless because we all know there are no voiceless, there are people who are given the support to speak up.

INGOs must think about how they will give that support for people to speak up!

One small last criticism of this campaign – if your policy is to remove identifiable features of children you really should go back and delete old photos from social media too – there are still lots there….

Changing Charity Representations – new video from MSF Norway

MSF Norway have recently published a new video: Anti-racism: When you picture Doctors Without Borders, what do you see?

In 2018 I was the lead author of a study called Which Image Do you Prefer? The research was produced in conjunction with The Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund (SAIH) where we talked to 74 respondents in six African countries to get a sense of what people in aid-receiving countries think about selected pieces of aid communication. One of the main research findings was that respondents “highlighted the need
for more diversity by for example using images of people of all ages and
different races, and generally showing that people have something to offer.” NGOs were also encouraged to diversify their strategies. As well as children, participants in the focus groups wanted to see images of parents and grandparents, local development workers and doctors, for example. They highlighted the importance of maintaining the dignity of the individuals portrayed, especially when depicting children and called for more sharing of stories to give those presented in images identity and agency.

It is therefore interesting that the Norwegian branch of MSF has produced this campaign as they recognise that the images they have used in the past “propagate a single story and perpetuate racist stereotypes of so-called white saviors and powerless victims”. Narrated by Lindis Hurum, General Director, MSF Norway and Dr Chinonso Emmanuel Okorie, MSF Medical Doctor, the new campaign aims to raise awareness of colleagues working around the world for Doctors Without Borders. Facts are provided, such as “4 out of 5 of our colleagues are hired in the countries where we work”. The video briefly discusses issues such as colonialism, neo-colonialism, stereotypes and othering. MSF promises to change their culture and their way of communicating and advocating, but they also admit that this is not a simple process and their will be problems along their journey. The promise includes sharing different voices to tell “the whole story” and not just a single story using a range of voices from around the world including patients – all in the hope to “co-own the story”. As they say, this will be no easy task. The bravest aspect about this campaign is that they complete the video by saying

“So now it’s all up to you. Will you listen to them? We hope you do. Some say that fewer people will listen when the story isn’t told by someone like me (white western woman). They say that this kind of poster (picture of a black MSF doctor smiling – see below) won’t raise as much money. And that means we’ll save fewer lives. Will you join us in proving them wrong?”

I agree, it is up to the audience, but will they agree or be annoyed by this statement? So far the video has 298 likes and no dislikes – that’s a good start. I applaud Doctors Without Borders for their bold attempt to include more voices in their storytelling. This campaign attempts to rectify one of the main criticisms in the Which Image Do you Prefer? research and other research such as the People in the Pictures and Shifting the Lens on Ethical Communications in Global Development. I hope MSF existing donors will respond positively to this campaign, and that they also attract new audiences!

I strongly believe that charity and NGO storytelling is changing for the better. Here’s hoping that more charities will follow MSF’s bold lead. In the words of Confucius

“To see what is right and not do it is a lack of courage”

Coronavirus public health warnings and PSA on social media

It’s been quite a while since I’ve had time to update this blog, but I thought it was important to collate and share some of the public health warnings and PSA about coronavirus (COVID-19) from both governments and celebrities, in the hope that people can learn from some of the excellent videos and infographics being shared on social media to combat this awful pandemic. Keep safe everyone.

Ohio Department of Health – USA
Bobby Wine – Coronavirus Alert – Uganda
Vietnamese Health Department
Indian Police Hand Washing Dance
Arnold Schwarzenegger – USA
Gloria Gaynor – I will Survive – USA
UK Coronavirus Public Information TV Advert
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isTGA_UHH-E&t=6s
National Health Service (NHS) Stay at Home Advice UK
UNICEF Vietnam
Oxfam – How to Wash Your Hands
Tamil Nattu Pasanga
Jehovah Shalom Acapella – Uganda
Derbyshire Police Drone Shaming Video – UK
https://twitter.com/NeilDiamond/status/1241584423927074818?s=20
Neil Diamond – Sweet Caroline Coronavirus Update
PSA – Egypt
A video mocking Canadian Celebrity Humanitarianism
Corona Awareness – Pakistan
Nickelodeon Coronavirus Film for Children – USA
Department for International Development – UK
HM Government – UK
Caramella Girls – Sweden
Cartoon Network – USA
Egypt’s Great Pyramid
https://www.instagram.com/p/B-W_T2JFq6V/
WaterAid Nepal – Instagram
https://www.instagram.com/p/B-ZhrWYHv-g/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
Uganda Advert for Tailors to Make Face Masks
UK Government
Uganda President Address to the Nation on Facebook
Matt Damon – Contagion PSA
Tik Tok Challenge – Vietnam Ministry of Health
Government of South Australia
https://www.facebook.com/EvansvillePoliceDept/videos/265010434514317/
Don’t Stand So Close to Me – Evansville Police Department
The Refugee Response – Swahili
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YE2Vo_55TJU&feature=share&fbclid=IwAR2jbUoQbER8-bGAd5COy-rSAF7Ha3T3U8LlSQ1uWOgWVfSpMPuVdjLwXbI&app=desktop
Mzee wa Bwax – Corona – Tanzania
Manual to make homemade masks – India
https://twitter.com/ikushkush/status/1245362115382214656?s=20
Multilingual PSA – Sudan
Global Handwash Song – Nepal
OSAD – Vietnam
Tom MacDOnald – Coronavirus – USA
Psychs – Spreadin’ – UK
Stay Safe, Don’t Panic – India
World Health Organisation – Seven steps to prevent the spread of the virus
World Health Organisation – Hand washing with the tippy tap
Social Distancing – University of California, Irvine
B’Flow – Tanzania
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvtvYxuChkw
Zinash Tayachew – Ethiopia’s First Lady
https://www.instagram.com/p/B-jRyppoWPT/
UNICEF – UK
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2U0Ily1i0mo&list=RD2U0Ily1i0mo&start_radio=1
Bobi Wine Ft African Leaders – Uganda
One World Together – Worldwide
Pata Pata Revived – South Africa
Uganda All Stars – Uganda
Spice Diana – Uganda