Alliance Photo Competition

 The Alliance Annual Photo & Film Competition 

The Alliance photo and film competition runs every year and ties into the broad theme of our Annual Cnference. For the past two years, winning entries have been exhibited at Annual Conference and in 2019 we also showcased different entries at Edinburgh's City Art Centre. You can see previous winners at the bottom of this page.

Our photo and film competition is an opportunity for international development practitioners, photographers, videographers and anyone else with a link to Scotland to showcase sustainable development projects across the world. We particularly welcome entries from our members, but our competition is open to all with a link to Scotland. Get involved!

The 2020 Alliance photo and film competition

We are inviting anyone with a link to Scotland to submit entries under this year’s theme:

The Climate Crisis from the Front Line

The climate crisis affects everyone, but it is those who have done least to cause it that are almost always on the front line of its devastating impact. Recognising this fact is critical to eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable development across the world.

Human interest stories are vital for building support for a climate justice oriented response to the climate crisis. With the UN climate talks coming to Glasgow in November 2020, we have a unique opportunity to raise awareness in Scotland of how the climate crisis is affecting people across the world, building support for more focused climate action where it is needed most.

Your entry to this year’s competition should be under this broad theme, and should aim to fulfil any or all of the following aims (sub-themes):


1. To share stories of those most impacted by the climate crisis in countries and regions of the world that have done least to cause it

2. To highlight the climate related challenges people and communities face in developing countries

3. To celebrate new and existing responses to the climate crisis in developing countries (mitigation, adaptation and resilience)


The Alliance photo and film competition is an opportunity for international development practitioners, photographers, videographers and anyone else with a link to Scotland to showcase sustainable development projects across the world.

An appointed panel will select winning entries based on how well they correspond to the above theme, their photographic/video quality (focus, composition, creativity, delivery) and whether they comply with ethical guidelines - show human subjects in a positive light, speak to gender sensitivity and be consensual.

For more information on ethical guidelines see Bond’s website or The Dóchas Code of Conduct.

Winners will be announced and a selection of top entries will be displayed and screened at our Annual Conference on 24th September 2020 which will bring over 200 delegate together to focus on this important theme.

Following our annual conference, and before the UN climate talks in November, we will also showcase a selection of top entries at a public exhibition in Glasgow. Details TBC.


Anyone can enter the competition as long as they have a link to Scotland. There are two categories for submissions:

  1. Members of the Alliance (organisations, individuals & their partners), Entry is free (up to 3 images, and one film per organisation)
  2. Non-members of the Alliance (including amateur and professional photographers/videographers) entry costs £10 per image (max 3 images, 3rd image free), and £20 per film (max 1 film). Payment exemptions possible - please get in touch if you are unable to pay.

Winners will be selected from both categories.

How to enter?

Fill out this form and return with your image (high res) or short film (max 3 mins) to: putting ‘Alliance 2020 photo and film comp entry’ in the subject line.

Please submit a separate entry form for each image or film that is being entered into the competition (each entrant can submit up to 3 images, and one film).

Deadline for all image and film submissions – Friday 31st July 2020 at 17:00 GMT

Download entry pack & form


*In order to ensure high quality reproduction, we will require larger versions of the winning photos. All participants must be able to submit a HIGH-RESOLUTION copy of their photographs upon request (at least 300 dpi at 3,000 pixels on the longest side).

**For film entries, film length must not exceed 3 minutes, and must be in a universal format (e.g. .MP4, .MOV or .WMV)

***You will likely need to use WeTransfer or equivalent to send large files.


By entering the contest, all entrants grant the Alliance an unrestricted, perpetual, royalty-free, non-exclusive license to publish, reproduce, display, distribute and create derivative works of the entries (along with a name credit). Such use may include, but is not limited to: a photo exhibit or slideshow featuring selected images from the contest; use for illustration purposes on the Alliance website as well as any future Alliance publications; and promotion of future contests. The Alliance will not be required to seek any additional approval in connection with such use.

Photo Competition 2019

In summer 2019, we annouced the opening of our second annual photo compeitition, this time under the theme of sustainable development through the lens of gender. We received almost 100 entries from over 60 organisations and individuals involved in international development in Scotland and were blown away with the calibre of entries. On 6 November, we held our very first photo exhibition and reception. You can view a summary of the day, along with photos here. We also launched a 2020 Alliance Calendar, showcasing the work of our members. 

Top Entries from 2019:

1. Photo Title: Dr Isioma Okolo, Photographer: Rod Penn

Portrait of Dr Isioma Okolo getting ready to go out and teach emergency life-saving obstetric skills to Ugandan midwives, nurses and doctors in Masaka. This project aimed to improve the reproductive health of women in Masaka by teaching emergency obstetric skills, respectful maternity care and safe referrals to Ugandan health care workers.

2. Photo Title: The Frontline, Organisation: International Justice Mission (IJM),  Photographer: Quinn Neely

Widows are on the frontlines of property battles in Uganda. An IJM baseline study conducted in Mukono Country, Uganda, revealed that nearly one in three widows is a victim of property grabbing – a crime characterised by physical force, forgery, fraud, threats, destruction and violence.

3. Photo Title:  Healthy Soils, wholesome communities, Organisation: Gaia Education/UNITAR, Photographer: May East 

This project aimed to improve sustainable food security and livelihoods of 42 vulnerable communities of Southern Bangladesh. Over four years, women participated in a series of design for sustainable settlements, permaculture, and climate change intervention courses, acquiring practical skills in composting, vermiculture, mulching, herbal pesticides, and raised-bed cultivation.

4. Photo Title: Women leading the change, Organisation: Feed the Minda, Photographer: Hannah Walters

One of the health literacy facilitators from Feed the Minds’ local partner organisation in Nepal, ETSC, sitting with the materials she had been using to teach women and adolescent girls about maternal and child health.

5. Photo Title: A hand up for farmers, Organisation: A hand up for farmers, Photographer: John Carins 

The picture portrays Mathilde Nzamwitakuze with her 8-month-old son. With funding from the Scottish Government, Opportunity International UK, with its local partner Urwego Bank works to offer farmers like Mathilde access to loans and savings account, as well as training including Life Skills and Good Agricultural Practices.

Photo Competition 2018 

Members of Scotland’s International Development Alliance were invited to submit a photograph that illustrated sustainable development through the eyes of a young person.

Entries focused on at least one of the sustainable development goals, and portrayed how young people are involved in shaping development or the impact development had on young people through the work of their organisation or partners. Our favouite photos were then displayed at our 2018 Annual Conference: "Tomorrow's World". 

Top entries from 2018: 

1.  Photo Title: Community-led development , ​Organisation: Children of Rwanda, ​Photographer: Jean-Paul​

Children of Rwanda operate through a local committee of parent-representatives elected from and by their beneficiary community. They are responsible for managing and monitoring the programmes in their villages (with support from our volunteer UK-based team) as well as recruitment of new children on to our school bursary programme. The photo shows Jean, a parent-representative, taking care of Jacqui and her brother Jean-Marie. 

2. Photo Title: Looking forward to a brighter future, Organisation: Feed the Minds, Photographer: Hannah Walters 

International development work helps to bring smiles to young people’s faces around the world. Feed the Minds feel this image really portrays the positive impact that development work has on young people’s lives. Since joining their Secure Futures project in Uganda, Josephine has been able to learn vocational skills and increase her income to improve the quality of her life. This is priceless.  ​

 3. Photo Title: Invest in a girl, and everyone wins, Organisation: Scottish Love in Action, Photographer: Phil Barnes 

 Scottish Love in Action supports VOICE4Girls, an Indian NGO that works with girls aged between 13-15. VOICE4Girls aim to empower these girls to take charge of their futures, to remain in education and to resist forced labour, violence, early marriage and childbirth, in accordance with Indian law. This photo was taken by Philip Barnes, who volunteered with SLA in 2017, and with a group from across Scotland worked with over 200 girls as part of the VOICE Programme. ​

4. Photo Title: The importance of sanitation ​​​​​​, Organisation: WaterAid, Photographer: Manisha 

Manisha (16) was one of eight girls to take part in a photography and educational project run by WaterAid in her small rural village in Sindhuli, Nepal, where the girls picked up cameras for the first time to provide a fascinating insight into what life was like for them during their period. They ran a local exhibition to open up discussions around the restrictions that were placed on them and what is required for them to manage their periods hygienically and with dignity.

5. Photo Title: Peer-led adherence support for adolescents living with HIV and Disability, ​Organisation: Africaid Zvandiri , Photographer: Tinashe Grateful Rufurwadzo ​

Moreblessing – left; Tadi – right. Tadi (not actual name) is a 16-year-old girl from a high density suburb in Harare. In the picture, Tadi receives adherence support from Moreblessing, a Community Adolescent Treatment Supporter (CATS). Moreblessing reported Tadi’s case to the HIV and Disability team who assisted her to get professional assistance from a specialist. Tadi is now back at school as her hearing has greatly improved.

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