Changing How We Respond: New fund from DFID puts Communicating with Communities on the Global Agenda

Source: Mon, 9 Feb 2015 03:18 PM
Humanitarian radio station Radyo Abante reporter interviewing community members in the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. Credit: Caroline Austin
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The CDAC Network has been awarded a landmark grant by the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) which will firmly establish communicating with communities as a predictable and resourced component of humanitarian response. The grant is an unprecedented investment in the communicating with communities arena, and has the potential to fundamentally change the way the humanitarian system responds to crises.

Hosted by World Vision UK on behalf of the CDAC Network, the three year, £3 million project is part of a new £40 million Disasters and Emergency Preparedness Programme (DEPP) launched by DFID in response to the UK Government's 2011 Humanitarian Emergency Response Review. The aim of the investment is to effect a significant improvement in the speed and delivery of humanitarian assistance to disaster affected communities in high risk countries.

The grant will enable the CDAC Network to gather key evidence around the types of communication initiatives that have the most value in times of disaster. It will build on the learning already generated by the Network's engagement in a number of international responses, including Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and the displacement of communities in northern Iraq, and will deliver a package of locally-defined initiatives through networks of local and international agencies in Bangladesh and South Sudan.

Director of the CDAC Network, Rachel Houghton, said 'we are delighted to be announcing the launch of this ground-breaking new project. This investment by DFID in communicating with disaster affected communities is recognition of the critical role played by two-way communication in times of disaster.’

Management of the programme in Bangladesh will be overseen by BBC Media Action, a founder member of the CDAC Network with a wealth of experience using communication to improve humanitarian response. Commenting on Media Action's role in the initiative, Country Director for Bangladesh, Richard Lace, said: 'This is a fantastic opportunity to establish communicating with communities more firmly on the global emergency preparedness agenda. BBC Media Action is excited about the benefits this programme will bring to those feeling the effects of disasters all over the world, and we are delighted to have been selected to lead the programme in Bangladesh.' The lead agency for South Sudan will be identified in the coming two months.

Commenting on World Vision UK’s hosting of the grant, Head of Humanitarian and Resilience at World Vision UK, Mark Bulpitt, said 'World Vision is proud to be hosting this programme on behalf of the CDAC Network. As the host and as a Member of the Network we are committed to establishing meaningful two-way communication between communities and humanitarian organisations, including ours. This grant from DFID is a major step towards achieving that goal.'


  • Comprising 27 member agencies, the CDAC Network is a ground-breaking initiative that brings together leading NGO, United Nations, media development agencies and technology providers) in a unique collaboration that recognises information and two-way communication as key humanitarian deliverables. This cross-sector initiative was formed in 2009 with a view to improving two-way communications between aid actors and disaster affected populations. See more at and on twitter @CDACN #commisaid
  • World Vision is a global relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. Working with communities in close to 100 countries to bring about long-term change, the organisation focuses on three key areas: child protection, child health and emergency response. Find out more at

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About the CDAC Network

The CDAC Network is a growing platform of more than 30 humanitarian, media development, social innovation, technology, and telecommunication organisations, dedicated to saving lives and making aid more effective through communication, information exchange and community engagement.

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