New good practice guide: dealing with rumours in humanitarian response

Source: Tue, 8 Aug 2017 11:30 AM
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“Onions and coffee protect against the Ebola disease.” Rumours, like this one conveying incorrect information, can have catastrophic effects both for communities and the organisations working with them. Often, little attention is paid to them until it is too late.

NEW PRACTICE GUIDE examines rumours and how to work with them.

To launch the guide, the CDAC Network is running a WEBINAR on Wed 14 June 2017 at 09:00, repeated at 14:00 and again on Fri 16 June at 09:00 (times are GMT - click for other time zones).

The topic will be introduced by Angela Rouse, Senior Programme Manager at the CDAC Network who will outline the importance of working with rumours and the relevance of the guide in today's humanitarian responses. The author, Jon Bugge, will then discuss how practitioners can incorporate elements into their existing programme work so that they are able to identify, verify and act upon rumours. Stijn Aelbers will talk about his experience of managing rumours with Internews, including working on their innovative, 'common service' approaches. Other speakers annouced are Isla Glaister from Search for Common Ground and Christopher Tuckwood from the Sentinel Project.

REGISTER HERE to join a webinar and follow us on Twitter @CDACN #RumourGuide.


How the guide was developed

Practitioners’ contributions to an open call for submissions, alongside secondary data review and key informant interviews, were drawn on to draft the guide, with advice and quality control provided by an editorial steering group comprising a range of sector experts. The guide has been peer reviewed by practitioners in the sector to ensure it provides concise guidance on why – and how – humanitarian actors should engage with rumours as part of their work to prevent or alleviate human suffering.

Some of the areas the guide covers:

  • Why rumours are important for communities and humanitarian actors
  • How rumours deliver informal feedback and accountability
  • Using physical or virtual networks to address rumours
  • How to listen, verify and engage communities on rumours
  • Collective approaches to tackling rumours
  • Two in-depth case studies exploring different approaches.

This work is funded by the Humanitarian Leadership Academy.


For further information please contact Angela Rouse.

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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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