Respect & Equality in Communications Award

Honouring a campaign that has used empowering images and messaging in line with the Dóchas Code of Conduct on Images and Messages


The Finalists!


ActionAid Ireland – AFTER Testimony Tour

ActionAid Ireland works with the poorest women and children in the world, changing their lives for good.

Since 2016 ActionAid has been working on a programme in Ireland called the AFTER (Against Female Genital Mutilation / Cutting Through Empowerment and Rejection) project. The AFTER Testimony Tour brought three women from Kenya to share their stories of their fight to end FGM.

How did this campaign use empowering and respectful communications?

The AFTER Testimony Tour educated key communities and the general public in Ireland about female genital mutilation and to empower people to reject this harmful cultural practice.

How did this campaign challenge stereotypes?

Fundamental to the tour was that the Kenyan women who are part of ActionAid’s development programme are not victims, but powerful advocates against FGM & leaders in their community. The tour also challenged perceptions that we, in the global north, have little to learn from our partners in the global south.

How was this campaign innovative?

We often tell the stories of powerful women who are advocates of change, we don’t often have the opportunity for these women to tell their stories themselves in person, in Ireland. The tour also looked at FGM as a global concern, rather than an issue for countries in Africa & the Middle East alone.

For more information on the AFTER project, please visit

Oxfam Ireland – Right to Refuge 

Oxfam is a global movement of people who won’t live with the injustice of poverty. Across the world, 65.6 million people are now on the move because of conflict, violence and persecution – more than has ever been recorded before. Oxfam is on the ground in nine out of the 10 main countries of origin for refugees as well as in those they’re arriving to and works to ensure that people fleeing can do so safely, legally and together with their families.

We all deserve to live in safety. And we all have the right to refuge when our safety and dignity is threatened. Oxfam’s Right to Refuge campaign calls on the Irish and UK governments to do more to welcome and protect refugees and migrants.

How did this campaign use empowering and respectful communications?

All of the language and imagery portrayed refugees as individual people, with hopes and fears, people like you and me; not people to be feared or who deserved to be stigmatised. Oxfam Ireland showed stories of hope and courage and resilience and asked people to keep families together, supporting their rights.

How did this campaign challenge stereotypes?

Refugees are commonly portrayed as either terrorists or economic migrants. We showed they are normal people who have the same aspirations and hopes as all of us do. We showed the impact of having families torn apart and asked the Irish public to put themselves in the shoes of a refugee.

How was this campaign innovative?

Oxfam Ireland’s social media engagement was followed up by telemarketing to secure support for the campaign and our communications lead to a bill on family reunification.

For more information on Oxfam Ireland’s Right to Refuge campaign, please visit

Gorta-Self Help Africa – Two Villages 

Self Help Africa (Gorta-Self Help Africa in Ireland) is one of Ireland’s longest established agricultural development organisations. Self Help Africa implements agricultural and agri-enterprise development projects in nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and will reach approximately 350,000 rural poor households in 2017.

As part of an Irish Aid-funded project, Self Help Africa works in the far north – in Mbala and Luwingu districts. In this remote poverty pocket, support services are scarce to non-existent, and most people survive on just a single meal a day for part of the year. The villagers of Malela and Nsunda are amongst 80,000 people in the far north that the project is assisting. Two Villages is the story of those people.

How did this campaign use empowering and respectful communications?

‘Two Villages' is a multi-year longitudinal project that set out to tell the story of people living in two rural communities in a remote part of Zambia, and hearing in their own words about the changes in their lives during the implementation of a rural development project in their area.

How did this campaign challenge stereotypes?

24 rural people were interviewed annually for a period of years, and were invited to 'tell their stories' in an unvarnished factual way. This was not a marketing tool, but rather an exercise that provides a window into the real lives, real challenges, and the hopes and dreams of these people.

How was this campaign innovative?

A website was created using first person video testimony - as GSHA personnel spent time living in the two villages and provided a 'fly on the wall' account of local life. Supplementary print brochures were produced and, alongside workshop materials, are being used in Irish post-primary schools.

The Judges! 

Thea Willoch Njaastad holds a BA in Comparative Politics from the University of Bergen and is currently on an exchange program at SOAS, University of London. Njaastad was the Project Manager for Radi-Aid 2016 and she is the editor of The World's Best News 2017. Njaastad has a particular interest in NGO communication and the role of the media in development communication.

This category was also judged internally by Dóchas’ Communications Officer Aideen Blackwood.