@rachel - valid point about uneven coverage of disasters. A call for all of us as journalists to also cover so-called forgotten emergencies, and also write about those brewing to become big emergencies in the future
Communication with communities before/during/after disasters is a part of our service delivery. It should be recognised at the centre of all of our operations. It should not be seen as a afterthought, but a tool to assist us in the development, management and delivery of our programs and response.
@rachel etc on donors: a big thing for me is allow us to fail. Meeting these challenges means innovation in delivery, and also innovation in the way we work. It means trying things out, not all of which will work. I love that the Humanitarian Innovation Fund embraces the possibility that a project could fail. As long as donors expect success as defined by meeting the original objectives, no one will be empowered to innovate.
Agree with @Jacob. Donors also need to understand the importance of communication in the aftermath of crisis. It is not always easy to convince why information is as important as more traditional aid.
@Christian Lambe: donors can make humanitarian comms part of their funding criteria. Simple. Also, it's important that sector standards - including HAP and Sphere - properly integrate infoasaid and commisaid into their standards and guidelines. @Imogen: failure is critical. Would anyone on this panel today like to put together a 'fail fayre' with us?
@KatherineRoux +1! #commisaid should be integrated into responders' core opertaional
@Katherine completely agreed. @ChristianLambe - stop seeing communication as an "add on"...how often do we hear? "I will see if we have some budget left for that."
Donors also need to figure out how to fund local initiatives. So much of the most exciting work in recent years has come from non traditional actors at local level (look at the ihubs across Africa, Jalin Merapi, Ushahidi etc). Small grants for local ideas and local actors - tricky to administer but so much more effective than large grants to local orgs in generating real ideas and models that will work where they need to: ie on the ground
@aidlabs did you see our Silent Disasters campaign?
@aidlabs - it's hard to keep mainstream media interest alive in ongoing emergencies. At trust.org we try and write about resilience and solutions and these stories are popular. (Apols for shameless bit of self promotion:)
Preparedness is crucial--ie. working with mobile networks & aid providers in advance of a crisis, when there's ample time to plan. But responsiveness & adaptability are also crucial--ie. being able to modify approaches quickly as events unfold.
From our experience, the one common thread in all crisis events is their unpredictability.
We're almost at 1 pm BST, but if panelists are happy to take a few last questions we can keep going a few more minutes
Nine out of ten Red Cross and Red Crescent disaster responses are to what we call ‘silent disasters’. These types of disasters rarely – if ever - reach international headlines check out www.ifrc.org/silentdisasters
As a result, a "one size fits all" approach to #commisaid
@christian @rachel love the fail fayre idea!
@Imogen @Christian. Then let's do it! Let's talk offline in the new few days.
@jacob a one-size-fits-all to commisaid will by definition mostly fail. This is about a way of thinking and doing business, not a template or a framework
It's 1 pm BST - if if panelists are happy to take a few last questions we can keep going a few more minutes
@imogenwall Exactly. Broad guidelines = good; rigid processes = less so.
We've got 10 more mins. Then off to the launch!
@Christian: I'm on Rachel.Houghton@cdacnetwork.org
@Everyone: what are you all going to do to implement the findings of the #HINA report?
Fantastic @LibbyPowell maybe you can link up with the persons with disabilities project we have with Cambodia and Australian Red Cross in Cambodia
@jacob yes exactly. people need to realise there are very few 'answers'. the world is changing too fast for that. Get into the field, apply the principles and see what effectiveness looks like where you are. It will, in practice, look different everywhere. That's because communication is a social and cultural activity, no matter what tool you use, and is different everywhere.
@Rachel Houghton: We'll definitely be sharing the report with all of our aid provider partners; the guidelines are a great starting point. The data is also extremely useful!
From a CDAC-N perspective, we have a programme of work that ties-in with the report's recommendations. For example, we're:
• Advocating to donors and, eg, the IASC, about the need to ensure that information provision and two-way communication with affected communities becomes a predictable, consistent and resourced element of crisis resilience, response and recovery. We're getting infoasaid and commisaid into key humanitarian policy instruments.
• Building the capacity of agency staff to mainstream two-way comms through practical workshops and simulations, and through field-level projects and pilots
• Convening a range of actors – traditional and non-traditional humanitarian actors, including private sector actors – to facilitate collaboration across these different stakeholder groups
• Improving sharing / exchange of information via the Network’s website, including case studies, learning reviews, tools, and other resources
• Developing communities of practice that address issues related to communications coordination in crisis, and research and learning about communication as aid
For example: What is not different is the principle and practice that the first thing people want to do in crisis is connect, usually with each other and their loved ones. How they do it is a different question. Global principle, local reality.