Over nine years and more than 70 projects and 300 videos, we’ve shown that using media tactically in the context of human rights law and advocacy has a tremendous impact on the process of human rights work—from documentation to communications to advocacy—and the outcomes of specific cases. We see impact in four areas.

To see the global scope of our work and specific impact case studies, please read our 2017 annual report.

We help our partners win hard-fought cases and campaigns.  

Our short documentary Defending Gideon, produced in partnership with the Constitution Project, successfully persuaded policymakers to reform Michigan’s indigent defense system. Our video that amplified the voices of survivors of sexual violence after Haiti’s 2010 earthquake helped persuade the U.S. Congress and USAID to allocate badly needed funding for the protection of women in internal displacement camps.


We help empower people and communities to understand and defend their rights.

After community screenings of NMAP’s Beneath the Surface series in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the rural community in Luhwindja reported a better understanding of their rights in the face of the multinational mining company threatening them, and also the specific steps to take to protect those rights. Community members went to a legal clinic to initiate the process of advocating for their rights related to abuses that had already occurred. Today, more than 3,000 rural community members have attended screenings in Haiti, DRC, and Guinea.

Our video Corruptistan combined satire, expert insight, and an animated visual explanation of grand corruption to address a well known case in Uzbekistan and present a compelling model for asset repatriation. Because it is packaged in a format that appeals to those with knowledge of the case, and to those without, the video was viewed more than 14,000 times and shared more than 30 in less than a week after its launch on the Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights’ online magazine El Tuz. Corruptistan is being used in private advocacy by a civil society coalition advocating for a transparent asset repatriation model for Uzbekistan.


We bring emerging storytelling technology to grassroots organizations and activists.

NMAP is at the forefront of exploring how immersive advocacy experiences can be used in the context of grassroots human rights advocacy. Our first virtual reality advocacy piece focuses on grassroots activism against mining abuses in Guinea and has been used to demonstrate how communities and their civil society allies are fighting to protect their own rights. We continue to  brainstorm new ways that immersive storytelling supports direct advocacy.


NMAP’s partnership model and collaborative process strengthens civil society.

Our long-term goal is to improve civil society’s use of storytelling technologies, so that organizations evolve beyond using media  to deliver messages, and instead use media to persuade strategic audiences. Rather than taking a top down approach to meeting this goal, we work to insure an inclusive process with human rights defenders and their communities so that every collaboration complements and enhances their front-line work.

We produced the Words That Kill series in collaboration with Colombia’s Jose Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective (CCAJAR) to demonstrate how defamation campaigns stigmatize and endanger human rights defenders and undermine their work. As part of this, we conducted a one-day multimedia training with front-line community leaders from CCAJAR’s advocacy training program. The workshop was tailored to the needs and requests of Colombia’s community activists. We complemented this training with a half-day social media training for CCAJAR’s lawyers and administrative staff. This training improved their ability to share their work and messaging more effectively on social platforms.