What is Video Advocacy?
WITNESS defines "advocacy" as a process that will bring about change in policies, law or people's behavior. And we define "video advocacy" as using visual media as a targeted tool that will engage people to create change. Video advocacy is not about using video primarily for publicity or as an educational or training tool. It requires setting specific objectives, identifying target audiences, and developing a strategic plan for production and distribution to ensure the video has impact as a specific tactic within a broader strategy.
WITNESS has found video advocacy to be most effective when used hand-in-hand with other advocacy tools such as litigation, research, organizing, and monitoring. Read our Case Studies to see how video advocacy has made an impact in our partners' campaigns for change.
WITNESS partner videos have been used in diverse arenas and have targeted a wide variety of audiences including:
- Courts, tribunals and other judicial bodies
- Legislative and executive bodies
- Human rights bodies, commissions, special rapporteurs and working groups
- Key decision-makers with influence on human rights issues (international financial institutions, corporations, aid agencies, etc.)
- NGOs, solidarity groups and community-based organizations
Anyone can use video advocacy, from non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to individual activists. Video is a democratic tool. However, video advocacy is a time- and labor-intensive process that requires significant commitment of human and other resources. And, as with all methodologies, it has advantages and limitations.
The Training section of our website is designed to help anyone interested in using video advocacy in their campaigns. All materials are downloadable and sharable. In our Tip Sheets section you will find tools for assessing if video is right for your campaign as well as practical how-to guides to help you make the most of video for human rights change.
Start using our Tip Sheets now!
If you've used our tools and would like to make suggestions, comments, etc. please contact us. We'd love to hear your feedback.