Around the Institute


November 22, 2013

Making Films

Last week we mentioned research around the impact of showing films in developing communities.  This week: a blog post about imMEDIAte Justice, which puts a camera in the hands of “those who had been historically victimized, demonized, and made invisible by media.” FilmAid and others also give under-represented groups (including refugees, in the case of FilmAID) the power to tell their own story. Our big questions: where are the films screened? What kind of effect do they have? We assume that making these films had a big impact on those creating them – but these individuals may already be unusually motivated or empowered.   We like the idea – so we’re not sure we really want to know the answers…

Buzzwords Are Out of Style

Forbes is not a resource we usually turn to but their new article about “buzzwords you really shouldn’t use” is a great discussion-starter for your Thanksgiving conversation [if that’s how you roll.]  They posit that “engagement, influential, loyalty, and unique” have been rendered meaningless in the marketing arena. They propose some alternatives: how about swapping  “value exchange”  for “engagement?”  (How about, not?) Non-profits have been taking cues from business for ages. See what your cousin in biz school thinks.

Listen, Innovate and Do No Harm 

In light of our wonderful breakfast with Dayna Brown from the Listening Project yesterday, we thought we’d share with you their latest blog post about how we can prevent humanitarian aid from making things worse – this time in light of typhoon Haiyan. It draws heavily from CDA’s Do No Harm Program. A lot of the questions they advise aid workers to think about (“How do we select partners?” “Whom did we leave out and why?”) are also questions evaluators should be asking the organizations they are working with. Neither aid nor advocacy exists in a bubble; listen those you may be impacting, directly or indirectly.  Simple, right?