Thanks @Astrid - yes it is for us we are integrating it into our disaster preparedness and response programmes
Incorporating the voices of people we serve is always an adaptation process - each context will present different needs and challenges but in turn that is our challenge as an aid organization: to delivery the most effective form of beneficiary-centered humanitarian aid.
@Katherine: The IFRC is only one of few agencies integrating comm as aid into their disaster preparedness and response programmes. It would be really useful to understand how you institutionalised this within your organisation. Do you have any 'tips' and 'lessons' that other organisations could use?
@timothylarge @TRF I think it depends what you mean by 'intelligible'. This is a question usually asked by those looking at a many-to-many, real time information system and trying to turn it into a single narrative. This isn't how many to many works. Anyone on twitter knows that the art is to tune into what you want to hear and tune out the rest and build your own narrative stream, and source the information you want. We all tune out vast amounts of white noise every day and sort out what we need. People in disasters do the same. So I'm wary of saying that just because a piece of information isn't seen as relevant to an aid worker, it isn't relevant to someone. Hence the need for connectivity and facilitating information flow, not trying to control it. For aid workers, yes, this is an issue, and one best addressed to people like the Digital Humanitarian Network. Or tune in later at our event to hear the BBC User Generated Content hub explain how they sort the wheat from the chaff against the clock in a news environment.
Thanks @Rachel - as a global organisation with a very wide network it is hard to pinpoint one specific approach but learning by example is key.
We are working globally at a policy and programme level, but also pushing initiatives in the field and during operations - so working at both ends is important.
Access is a concern as well as making sure that the information coming from Humanitarian organisations and local authorities are available/provided. We have set up a new position of Humanitarian Liaison Officer in our different hum. The HLO acts as an interface between journalists/local media and humanitarian organisations.
The thing is, providing information and being in communication is relevant at every stage of the humanitarian programme cycle. We're often struck that agencies don't integrate info and comms from preparedness, into needs assessments, implementation, M&E etc. This is covered well in the OCHA report on p33.
@rohanjay: Yes. working with mobile networks to develop disaster preparedness strategies *before* crisis hits is critical.
@rohanjay. Increasingly yes. Have a look at the Vodafone INstant Network which I worked with recently in the Philippines (first ever deployment in a sudden onset). But increasingly these answers are going to come from domestic telcos. That's who we really need to work with.
In most countries where we work, the networks are receptive to cooperating with aid providers in non-crisis periods to develop best practices and readiness strategies.
Using plain language and ditching the jargon is crucial. And I count words like "stakeholder" among the jargon
It's Rachel Houghton of CDAC, not Katherine Houghton. It's Katherine Roux of the Red Cross.
@imogen well stated about white noise - and as the report also highlights, the challenge is to make sure we share the key information we do filter out between humanitarian organisations.
Exactly; one of the key challenges is for aid providers to work together, not at cross-purposes, when crisis strikes.
@katherineroux yes. The commitment to Open Data and accessibility for all with regard to humanitarian info is crucial. This includes governments, local media, and affected communities (which is everyone, not just 'beneficiaries'). It means working in multiple languages as well.
@TimothyLarge. In the Philippines we worked with the DHN to build a real time map of infrastructure damage and impact following typhoon Bopha -based entirely on reports from survivors shared on social media. It CAN be done.
One other point, drawing on our experience in the field: I would still contend that citizen reporting is important in a crisis event. Report do need to be verified, of course, but the opportunity to empower local community members by giving them a voice, via technology, shouldn’t be
understated. In our work in Somalia, Libya & Gaza, the main (positive) feedback point we heard from communities was that they felt their voices were being heard for the first time—and mobile tech was enabling this to happen.
@RachelHoughton: Apologies Rachel
Agree with @LibbyPowell: Use the most affordable, most ubiquitous, and most accessible technologies to send/receive information--this way, you're engaging as many communities as possible.
@rohayjay hahaha! yes, and we are also aware it's a report about the future of the digital age in a 120 page PDF format :). Wheels change slowly at the UN. But the whole thing is online and shareable so at the risk of our lawyers' wrath please go ahead and use/quote/share it.