PhotoVoice’s Transparency and Ethical Approach
PhotoVoice prides itself on its ethical approach, which runs throughout its operations.
Our Statement of Ethical Practice is available for all, and we encourage people to use it as the basis for their own participatory engagement programmes.
There are also a number of other elements which PhotoVoice is proud of.
- Our focus is on project delivery and partnership working rather than fundraising.
- The vast majority of our income is spent on our projects – in previous years, we have been able to utilise around 85p of every £1 on our projects and communications work, which we aspire to replicate and improve on if we can. That means for every pound donated, the vast majority is spent on our work.
- We don’t use unpaid interns, and all of the staff who work for PhotoVoice are paid at least the London Living Wage.
- We don’t use street fundraisers, direct marketing, or exploitative images or messages in order to raise funds for our work.
- We never sell or share supporter or subscriber information to others.
- We don’t share website visitor data with others.
- We strive to maintain a ratio of below 3:1 between the highest and the lowest salaries within the core team.
- Our office uses ethical suppliers when possible for our utilities and other office costs.
- All staff, trustees, freelancers and others involved in our work are required to have an Enhanced DBS check.
- We don’t sell images to image libraries, believing that the lack of control over how these images are subsequently used is contrary to our ethical approach.
- All images created by project participants are owned by their creator. Participants can choose on an image by image basis which images and captions – if any – are shared outside of the confines of a project.
- Regardless of the partner we work with, we will never assign copyright or intellectual property rights for any participant-created images or captions to others. PhotoVoice’s project participants retain copyright of the images they create, only granting us and partners a license to use them should they choose to.
- No matter where we are in the world, we use a gold standard for safeguarding and consent, regardless of whether the local laws or customs could allow otherwise.
- We have a comprehensive approach to informed consent, which we undertake at the end of our projects. No participant is pressured to create or share content they do not want to. This applies regardless of the policies or practices of our partners.
- Where it is safe or appropriate for us to do so, participants retain the cameras they use on the projects.
- We emphasise the importance of capacity building with local organisations we work with, embedding our approach and methodology with them before engaging in fieldwork.