Today, thousands of stories are being told regardless of who tells them and how they are told.
Many of these stories lack authenticity, transparency, or are driven by ulterior motives which serve a predetermined narrative. These are just some of the few obstacles that get in the way of honest, wholesome and dignified storytelling within development and humanitarian contexts. In order for a piece – be it visual, written or spoken – to reach an audience, it goes through a long process of filtration, revising and editing that sometimes alters the original content and makes it almost fictional. This in turn, ends up painting the wrong picture of the contributors who oftentimes are not aware of where their stories, visual or written, will be displayed and to what purpose will they be used.
Recognizing that there are gaps in advocacy, knowledge-sharing, and available resources, Dignified Storytelling has brought together storytellers from across sectors to discuss and shape guidance on storytelling practices that are built on deep respect, full transparency and social responsibility. Through this global consultative process, Dignified Storytelling has developed guidance on storytelling practices that upholds the dignity of all persons and creates a positive environment and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is supported by Dubai Cares, Expo 2020 Dubai, and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC), alongside strategic partners including the African Union, League of Arab States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as well as key advisors and a strong network of alliance members.
Dignified Storytelling Principles
The Principles of Dignified Storytelling are 10 principles that have been put together by a diverse group of stakeholders through a consultative process. These principles are the foundation for the Dignified Storytelling pledge and also guide the Dignified Storytelling Handbook. They help guide storytellers towards storytelling that is grounded in deep respect, full transparency, and social responsibility.
Dignified Storytelling is rallying national and international partners and stakeholders to pledge towards the Dignified Storytelling principles and support the global uptake of the principles and handbook. The Dignified Storytelling Pledge is a voluntary commitment by individuals and organizations to contribute to positive change by pledging to tell stories characterized by deep respect, full transparency, and social responsibility.
The Dignified Storytelling Handbook builds on the foundational Principles for Dignified Storytelling, providing ‘how-to’ guidance and concrete best practice case studies. Cross-sectoral perspectives and insights from diverse and experienced stakeholders from UN agencies, International and local NGOs, governments, multilateral organization, civil society have informed this valuable framework and resource. It is available for download in English, Arabic, Spanish and French.