Past Event

8 July 2024 12:30–14:00

Institute of Development Studies Online on Zoom.

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Chain Reaction is a documentary film that explores a ground-breaking approach to Participatory Action Research where children working in the worst forms of child labour and the small business owners that employed them, analysed their circumstances and took action.

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The film shows a different way of doing development in complex environments.

It is at once, a sobering and inspiring, representation of conditions in the worst forms of child labour, and the way in which children analysed their circumstances and mobilised imaginative solutions in response to their problems.

Their solutions opened up pathways for change that ripple out – a chain reaction.

Made by filmmaker Tobias Thiele and narrated by photo journalist Saumya Khandelwal, this film narrates two of the 800 life stories that were collected and analysed by children. It shows the extraordinary collective analysis process that they carried out and how they mobilised themselves, their peers and adult allies to turn this into action.

Watch Chain Reaction: Child labour revisited


  • Professor Danny Burns was Director of the CLARISSA programme. He is known for his methodological work on Participatory Research and the implementation of large Systemic Action Research programmes across the world.
  • Tobias Thieleis a filmmaker and creative director for narratives about social and environmental justice. He has worked for NGOs such as UNHCR, Fairtrade, Engagement Global, Heinrich Böll Stiftung and many local organisations around the globe.
  • Saumya Kandelwal is a photojournalist based in New Delhi, and a contributor to National Geographic and the New York Times. She was selected for the World Press Photo’s 6X6 Global Talent Program in 2019, and is a 2017 Getty Images Instagram grantee for her work Child Brides of Shravasti. Her work has been exhibited at Getty Images Gallery, London, and at the India Photo Festival.

How to watch

You can watch this on Zoom.

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This event is part of a series of events that looks at the research findings from the IDS-hosted project Child Labour: Action-Research-Innovation in South and South-Eastern Asia (CLARISSA) which is a ground-breaking consortium generating innovative solutions for children to avoid hazardous, exploitative labour in Bangladesh and Nepal.

See all events here

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