Dignified storytelling maintains that the best interest and safety of the contributor(s) and their communities must always be placed above any other consideration in storytelling. The well-being of the people in the stories is more important than any need for advocacy or the promotion of issues, causes, or programmes.
Accordingly, dignified storytelling avoids behaviour or information-sharing that could cause risk, harm, or mistreatment of any individual or group. Assessing whether a story could result in a risk of harm, retribution, or loss to the person, family, or community is essential on an iterative basis throughout the storytelling process, starting with the planning stage. To be truly informative and accurate, the process of assessing risk should be done in collaboration with all those involved in the story-making or impacted by they story.
Specific groups of people are at greater risk and may require more comprehensive mesures to safeguard against risk. Advice for working with a number of these groups is included in this Handbook in the section on “Additional Guidance for Some Specific Groups.”
If significant risks are identified during the initial risk assessment, potential contributors should not even be contacted if unable to ensure their safety, or if there is not enough information to make an informed determination on the level of risk.