As coordination efforts begin as part of the international response to the Nepal Earthquake, here is some key learning from coordination of communicating with communities (CwC) initiatives in Haiti and the Philippines:
What have we learnt about CwC Coordination from previous experience?
- CwC coordination works best as a cross-cluster support mechanism (ie. working group).
- There needs to be a focal point leading on CwC coordination, BUT communication is not solely the responsibility of the lead agency - good CwC is everyone’s job.
- CwC is still a new sector: if the role and mandate of the coordinator or the mechanism is not clear, it can be challenging to get agencies on board.
- Aligning CwC with agencies’ interests and concerns helps get buy in and collaboration. For example, CwC can help where humanitarian access is an issue because of existing tensions, or where protection is a concern.
- Involving local media, local organisations and local governing structures (government, if appropriate) in working groups is important to develop mutual understanding, build partnerships and ensure existing capacity is being supported.
- Staff who can influence agencies’ programmes need to be engaged in CwC coordination e.g. programme rather than external communications staff.
Learning Reviews from previous Responses: