The role and importance of effective communication with crisis-affected people have grown significantly in recent years, driven by the proliferation of accountability initiatives within the humanitarian sector, the changing role of media development organisations as providers of humanitarian information and the explosion in information and communication technology (ICT) in crisis-affected countries.
The growing recognition of the importance of communication in disaster response has prompted an upsurge in discussions, publications and initiatives aimed at better understanding the potential of broadcast media and new technologies to improve how agencies communicate with their beneficiaries and, ultimately, enhance the quality and accountability of humanitarian assistance.
This Network Paper reports on the work of one such initiative, infoasaid. Operated by two media development organisations, Internews and BBC Media Action, with funding from the UK Department for International Development (DFID), infoasaid was established in 2010. The project, which came to a close at the end of 2012, had two main objectives:
- To strengthen the capacity and preparedness of the humanitarian system to respond to the information and communication needs of crisis-affected populations.
- To partner with aid agencies to help inform and support their communication response in emergencies.
This Network Paper examines the strategies infoasaid adopted to achieve these objectives, outlining what was done, how it was done, what the challenges were and what was learnt from the perspective of the project and its partners.