Middle East and North Africa Program

Using Video to Build Powerful Advocacy During Middle East and North Africa Transitions


In response to the popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), WITNESS has launched a program to ensure that video is used effectively to take advantage of this momentum of transition; and that innovative learning is shared and built upon. Never before has there been such opportunity for activists and ordinary citizens alike to use video to affect the future of an entire region.


WITNESS will deepen our participation in the region by helping to ensure that the abundance of footage surfacing from the grassroots combines with human rights expertise to build powerful advocacy in the region. Empowering human rights activists on the ground with effective video and social media strategies can shape and guide the agenda to reform laws, policies, practices and behaviors in this critical moment.


As video continues to play a central role in building grassroots movements for change in MENA, there is also an urgent need for appropriate tactics and strategies to ensure that video’s potential as a powerful tool for advocacy is realized and shared within the region – and ultimately beyond.


Over the period June 2011- June 2012, we will be enaged in a variety of activities in response to the current political situation in the MENA and to requests from activists in the region, including:

  • a partnership with the Egyptian Democratic Adademy (EDA); More»
  • hosting a human rights convening in the region to identify immediate needs; More»
  • identify, disseminate and translate innovative tools and tactics; and
  • develop new apps for human rights in the region.


Tools created through this initiative will provide a rapid response model that we hope to be able to apply to other regions in the world as needs and opportunities emerge.


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  • Background info here.

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