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What is IDleaks?

IDleaks is a non-profit organization committed to better communication on international development. IDleaks considers representation and discourse as integral to the production of the Global South and sees the communication on (the needs of) developing nations and peoples by government, industry, NGOs and the media in the Global North as part of the problem of (the failure of) international development and worldwide issues of poverty, inequality and injustice. In other words, IDleaks does not consider humanitarian communication as a means to an end, but as part and parcel of the end itself.


We aim to contribute to an environment in which all players in international cooperation can and will dare to learn more from each other, so that we can work more effectively towards a world without poverty, inequality and injustice that we all aspire to. On this website you can read how IDleaks tries to make a contribution. Most visibly, we organize various awareness events, notably the IDleaks Awards and the IDleaks Thesis Award, and provide ID organizations QuickScans, i.e. reports that evaluate their humanitarian communication (strategies). In addition, we host or participate in various other events throughout the year.

Why is IDleaks needed?

Better communication on so-called ‘developing countries’ in the Global South and an open discussion on international development (ID) are needed because the average citizen in the Netherlands (and the rest of the Global North) is too often confronted with a one-sided and stereotypical image of developing countries and their inhabitants. IDleaks helps development organizations and news media to avoid such unbalanced and ultimately harmful imaging. In addition, there is a lot of uncertainty among the general public about what ID organizations are. Too many discussions are based on a lack of information. IDleaks is therefore committed to an open and nuanced debate in which there is room for context and that is fed with facts and personal stories from different angles.


Listen here to radio interview about the IDleaks Awards 2018 with IDleaks Chair Wouter Oomen on Dit is de Nacht (NPO1) (in Dutch):


Our Statutes

Here you can find (in Dutch) our statutes (‘statuten’), which explains our mission (‘doelstelling’) and remuneration policy (‘beloningsbeleid’). Besides the statutes you can find our latest annual accounts (‘jaarrekening’). An overview of all our activities can be found under Events and Projects.



Annual accounts 2017

Annual accounts 2018

Our board

Wouter Oomen

Wouter Oomen is a PhD candidate at Utrecht University, working on a dissertation on humanitarian communication. Before, Wouter obtained his master’s degree in media studies worked as a lecturer at the University of Amsterdam for four years. Alongside working on his dissertation, he took an active role in the PhD communities of the RMeS and UGlobe and went to study at the London School of Economics as a visiting PhD. As the chair of IDleaks, Wouter hopes to broaden discussions about what good communication on international development actually is, by means of knowledge exchange and the organization of events.

Emiel Martens

Emiel Martens is a media lecturer, researcher, and producer. He works as an Assistant Professor in Postcolonial Media Studies at both the University of Amsterdam and Erasmus University Rotterdam. His research interests span the fields of Postcolonial (Media) Studies, Popular Geopolitics, Alternative Media, Diversity and Migration Studies, and Film (and) Tourism, with a particular focus on Caribbean film and visual culture. Besides his university posts and position at IDleaks, Emiel is also the founding director of non-proft organization Caribbean Creativity and the producer of impact films such as Welcome to the Smiling Coast and Gifts from Babylon.

Steyn Hoogakker

Steyn Hoogakker is an independent action researcher, consultant and visual storyteller, with a background in Cultural Anthropology, Development Sociology and Environmental Science. His work is centred around environmental justice and climate change adaptation and mitigation in the Global South, with a particular interest in Sub-Sahara Africa and South Asia. In 2016, Steyn founded iMPACT JOURNEY, an audiovisual platform to challenge our perceptions on a variety of complex global issues through the art of visual storytelling. In 2018, iMPACT DOC was pre-launched in Amsterdam, an physical, platform for documentary photography and film.

Gabriel Ramirez Acevedo
External relations

In his daily life Gabriel Ramirez Acevedo is working as functional manager at the University of Amsterdam. He holds a Bachelor in International Relations and a Master in International Development Studies. He has previously worked as a consultant for social and environmental projects in Colombia, as director of a non-profit organization aiming to safeguard gastronomic traditions in Colombia, and at an environmental NGO in the US. After being a nominee in the IDLeaks Thesis Award 2018, he wanted to continue exploring issues of power and representation in international development, and what better way to do it than through IDLeaks itself!