Workshop Announcement - Communication and Community Engagement in Humanitarian Action

Source: Mon, 5 Feb 2018 03:51 PM
A WHO/UNICEF Risk Communication team member explains AWD prevention and control to health workers and residents of Gabo Gabo Kabele using pictorial posters (Photo: Ms Tseday Zerayaco, WHO)
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Communication and Community Engagement in Humanitarian Action: East Africa Regional Workshop

Nairobi, Kenya, May 2018


The Interagency Working Group, through the Quality and Accountability sub-group, in collaboration with the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), UNICEF and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs will host a regional workshop on Communication and Community Engagement dubbed ‘From Words to Action’. Representatives from the Communication with Disaster Affected Communities (CDAC) Network and Communication and Community Engagement Initiative will also be in attendance. 

The workshop seeks to build a regional network of practitioners in developing innovative, collaborative and practical approaches to community engagement in humanitarian action in the East Africa region and beyond. Practitioners will share case studies and innovative models of good practices from the most-at-risk countries in the region. It also aims to organize a collective service to address the need for a more systematic and coordinated approach to communication and community engagement with affected people.



Experienced practitioners will be invited, with delegations of up to four representatives from the following countries: Burundi, Central Africa Republic (CAR), Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Nigeria, Somalia and South Sudan.  



The workshop will take place from Tuesday 29 to Thursday 31 May 2018. Monday 28 and Friday 1 June will be travel days. Dates to be confirmed.



Nairobi, Kenya. The actual venue to be confirmed in April 2018.



Building on recent experience in the East Africa region and elsewhere, there is growing momentum to establish a more systematic and collective approach to communications and community engagement. The goal of such approaches is to strengthen the quality, accountability and effectiveness of humanitarian responses to ensure that people at risk have the information they need to act to protect themselves, and that the design of humanitarian responses is informed by the views of affected populations. 

While organizations, sectors and clusters have made progress in this area, coherent and coordinated information is still not provided to affected communities in a systematic way, and the design of humanitarian responses remains insufficiently informed by the views and feedback from affected people. Humanitarian response plans and cluster/sectoral strategies make references to communication with affected communities and feedback mechanisms, yet this doesn’t always translate in practice. 

To address these challenges, UNICEF, OCHA, IFRC, and other partners, under the auspices of CDAC Network, have established the Communication and Community Engagement Initiative. It aims to organize a collective service to address the need for a more systematic and coordinated approach to communications and community engagement with affected people. 

Following the successful workshop on community engagement in humanitarian action organized by OCHA for the Asia Pacific region in October 2016, this East Africa regional workshop will bring together practitioners and decision-makers to exchange ideas about new and ongoing initiatives, to determine how existing efforts at the national and local level on communication and community engagement can be better coordinated and made more systematic, and to identify needs for global support.



Every participant will cater for their own costs. The planning organisations will seek to sponsor the participation of national staff in case their organisation cannot bear the costs. 



OCHA will support Resident/Humanitarian Coordinators to nominate participants to represent all participating countries and in collaboration with in-country partners for a transparent and inclusive process.       


DUE Friday 30 March 2018

For enquiries contact Rita Maingi, Humanitarian Affairs Officer - Community Engagement, OCHA - Regional Office for Southern and East Africa


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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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