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19 Dec 2011
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infoasaid
Emergency response
It is increasingly recognized that when crisis or disaster strikes, people need information as much as they need shelter, food, water and safety. Humanitarian responses are often undermined or ineffective if people’s information needs are not given adequate priority during humanitarian crises.


Start date: January 2010
End date: September 2012
Media type: multiple
Issue: Humanitarian
The infoasaid project is managed by the BBC World Service Trust and Internews, funded by UKaid from the Department for International Development (DfID). The objective is to improve how aid agencies communicate with disaster-affected communities, with a focus on providing humanitarian information. The emphasis is on the need to deliver information, as aid itself, through the most appropriate channels.
The project has two main outputs:
(1) To strengthen capacity amongst aid agencies for communication with disaster affected populations through preparedness and response; and
(2) To strengthen the CDAC (Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities) Network, enabling it to become a more sustainable network through financial and technical support from infoasaid.
Preparedness
infoasaid provides tools and methodologies to improve how aid agencies communicate with communities. Through consultations with aid agencies the project aims to develop modules and training packages to increase awareness and understanding.
The project is producing a series of media landscape guides for 22 of the world’s most disaster and conflict-prone countries. This will enable agencies to immediately know how audiences access information and what media channels exist in these vulnerable countries.
During an emergency there are key messages that need to be conveyed to affected populations. These are often very similar, with some tailoring for local context, so infoasaid is producing a library of generic messages. This library will be developed and signed off by the United Nations Cluster System to ensure coordination and technical agreement. This will enable rapid dissemination immediately following the onset of a crisis.
Response
infoasaid is also supporting selected aid agencies to respond to a number of emergencies to facilitate communication with crisis-affected communities. The responses are chosen based on the opportunity to support capacity building with the agencies and to trial approaches in different scenarios. The project does not respond to every emergency situation that occurs.
Support to the CDAC Network
The CDAC Network is a relatively new network currently constituted by aid agencies, media development agencies and humanitarian initiatives that believe in the need to integrate two-way communication with affected populations into humanitarian work. Organisations involved in the network therefore seek to promote awareness and understanding of the capacity required among aid actors to work effectively in this way.
Infoasaid is a member of the CDAC Network and is dedicating resources to ensure that it grows and develops in a way that will ensure relevance and sustainability for the sector. Resources will be used to support a strategy revision process, implement a capacity-building programme for network members, and boost an online presence.
Related links:
Emergency response
More about how we prepare for and respond to humanitarian issues
Left in the dark: The unmet need for information in emergency response
External links:
Infoasaid
Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities (CDAC)
Internews
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