During major social disruptions, such as civil conflicts, natural disasters, and other crises, access to information is of fundamental importance to response and recovery operations. The ability to understand the language in which information is disseminated is a key marker of social vulnerability to disasters or crises.
It is important to assess the degree to which the service efforts of intergovernmental agencies, international non-governmental organisations, and other organisations in the humanitarian sector are informed by commitment to multilingual communication and language translation. Such assessment is important to understanding how humanitarian organisations contribute to risk reduction and improved community resilience.
Researchers at University College London, Dublin City University and Arizona State University have assessed the current state of practice and key language access issues in operational humanitarian organisations.