What stories are told – and how they are told – matters.


Dignified Storytelling is an initiative that aims to foster a common understanding of how storytelling can and should instill, as well as maintain the dignity of all persons, while striving to create an environment of positivity that strengthens long-term relationships between the public, private and the development and humanitarian sectors.

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Create an ecosystem that instils dignity and respect in storytelling within development and humanitarian contexts.

  • Through a global consultative process, develop and agree on guidance on storytelling practices that uphold the dignity of all persons and creates a positive environment and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Enable key national and international partners and stakeholders to pledge towards the Dignified Storytelling principles and support the global uptake of the principle's guidelines.


The Principles of Dignified Storytelling are 10 principles that have been put together by a diverse group of stakeholders through a consultative process. These principles are the foundation for the Dignified Storytelling pledge and also guide the Dignified Storytelling Handbook.


The Dignified Storytelling Handbook builds on the foundational Principles for Dignified Storytelling, providing 'how-to' guidance and concrete best practice case studies. Cross-sectoral perspectives and insights from diverse and experienced stakeholders from UN agencies, International and local NGOs, governments, multilateral organization, civil society will inform this valuable framework and resource. The  Handbook will be developed in multiple languages and will include:

Research Literature + Expert Interviews + Dignified Storytelling Consultations + Case Study Collection


Dignified Storytelling will rally national and international partners and stakeholders to pledge towards the Dignified Storytelling principles and support the global uptake of the principles and guidelines.​ The pledge will initially be rolled out at Expo 2020 Dubai, among International and Non-official Participants, with plans for a wider roll-out that is open to anyone who considers themselves a storyteller or works with storytellers.


The Dignified Storytelling Forum that will take place at the Expo 2020 Dubai Exhibition Center on Friday, 10 December 2021. The Forum will mark Human Rights Day, which commemorates the day in 1948 that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Forum will be a high-level event consisting of plenaries, side events, a press conference, and an exhibition that showcases best practices in dignified storytelling. The Forum will be a platform for key stakeholders to agree on a way forward in validating, adopting, and pledging towards Dignified Storytelling.

Dignified Storytelling will also be featured across Expo 2020's rich calendar of specialist programming, which reflects and celebrates the spirit of Dignified Storytelling throughout the 6-month event. Encompassing cultural, social, economic, environmental and UAE-based themes, the program series seeks to garner solidarity around global challenges, spotlight areas of mutual interest and importance, and ensure the emergence of a meaningful legacy at the national, regional and international level.


Dignified Storytelling is an opportunity for the global community to come together and reshape storytelling within development and humanitarian contexts. The initiative will:

  • Enable storytellers to tell authentic stories that spark empathy and inspire action
  • Honest, wholesome and dignified storytelling tactics becoming common practice
  • Limit the number of sensationalized stories or stories that are driven by ulterior motives, agendas, stereotypes
  • Provide a platform for storytellers for knowledge-sharing, best practices in storytelling, whose members will continue to advocate for the initiative
  • Deliver a multi-lingual platform for obtaining and withdrawing consent that is used by storytellers and contributors worldwide
  • Increased advocacy efforts that result in better policies in storytelling within the development and humanitarian sectors.