@axelle. yes. But what is a radio? you need to think about lots of aspects. Can the station function technicall? Are the journalists surviving themselves (do they need food/water/aid)? Can they get the information they need from us? Do they have the tools they need? Otherwise they can't broadcast. And if they can broadcast, do the survivors have radios? or are they listening through their phones? do they NEED radios? You have to think about all stages of the process, not just delivery of messages.
@Rachel Houghton yes, libraries are good--and they can definitely save time. We also need to be prepared for evolving content needs, though--and that's where the challenge of message creation can arise.
@Vsevolod we do not have programmes in Russia. Please get in touch.
@Axelle Basselet--I agree. Trust is critical. If community members don't trust the content they're receiving, they'll simply disregard it. In our projects, we work hard to ensure that content is branded in partnership with trusted, well known agencies/community entities--so that when people receive a text, they know it's from a reliable source.
We're moving into the last 15 minutes of this fascinating debate
@readycat could not agree more! And even more than that, we're talking about helping communities talk to each other and mobilise their own forms of assistance, which increasingly don't come from us. One major impact of technology, fr example, has been to empower the diaspora. In some countries they are more powerful than all the aid responders put together (somalia: official aid 1.3 billion USD - estimated remittances - 2.0 billion USD)
@Jacob and this is why the community-based volunteers in the Red Cross Red Crescent are our greatest asset.
Yes, @imogenwall, diasporas can play a key role in response efforts; this was the case in Haiti, with diaspora Haitians translating incoming/outgoing texts from the ground.
We are looking at a world in which telcos and media are both providers of a vital humanitarian service (and both, incidentally, are usually private sector - so we need to figure out how to work with them better at country level) and in which providers of aid are not just international responders, but diasporas, local industry etc. We are also looking whole new kinds of responders such as the volunteer and tech communities. @jacobkorenblum diasporas did a whole lot more than that in Haiti!
Good point @LibbyPowell (Radar): what about verification? Crisis Mappers Network has been working on that. What do others think?
@imogen. Indeed you need to think of all these aspects. We have established a roster that allows Internews to quickly assemble groundbreaking response teams that deliver professional, timely, reliable and well-targeted humanitarian communication solutions. There is a need for capacity building as it is provided by infoasaid
Any thoughts on what donors can do to push this forwward?
Beyond donor initiative, I think the real challenge is coordination between mobile networks, donors & aid providers.
@Astrid they can require a component of communication with communities in all programmes they fund...
@readycat yes indeed. And The Listening Project. The message that communication is a valuable process, not just a means of transferring information, is essential. Communication is how you build relationships and trust. That's why you can't take people out of application of any tech tool (and if you do it fails).
At #MWC2013 @imogenwall & I spoke about great examples of where this coordination between networks, funders, & providers is happening (in the Philippines, for example)--good "best practices" which can be replicated in other regions.
It is a great way to ensure the quality of programme delivery and accountability -it is actually to the donor's advantage.
@Jacob. Yes. Huge challenge. A real impediment to communication between humanitarian responders relates to how ‘traditional’ and ‘non-traditional’ humanitarian actors work together. There are certainly barriers to communication and collaboration between different stakeholder groups, and this pertains even to UN agencies and NGOs. When you add local media, media assistance, and telcos into the mix there can be conflicting ethical and operational imperatives that act as barriers to communication and collaboration.
@jacob yes, could not agree more. This is about how do we partner effectively. in New York one of the key representatives of the satellite industry (vsat) who was presenting said: stop treating us like vendors. That's not a partnership. He's right.
@Vsevolod Megaphones are useful in the immediate aftermath but there is a need to establish 2-way communication between the disaster-affected communities and the humanitarian community.