Cyclone Idai response: tools for communication and community engagement

Source: Mon, 18 Mar 2019 09:59 PM
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Cyclone Idai was an intense tropical cyclone that made landfall in Mozambique on 15 March 2019 wreaking havoc across central regions of Mozambique, and causing intense flooding in Zimbabwe, Madagascar, and Malawi. The death toll from the cyclone is currently over 300 and is rising fast, while more than a million people have been affected by the devastation caused.

The CDAC Network, its members and partners have a number of tools for use by those responding to disasters, such as that currently impacting communities in south eastern Africa, to ensure communication and community engagement is integrated into the disaster response plan. Below are some key documents that responders might find useful.

Practice Brief: Communicating with Communities during the First Six Weeks of an Emergency Response This document captures the core elements of communication and community engagement and is designed for field practitioners responding to or preparing for humanitarian emergencies.

Suggested Actions for intercluster coordination groups to strengthen Accountability to Affected Populations and Protection in the Humanitarian Programme Cycle This document, from the IASC, the Global Protection Cluster and OCHA, provides suggested actions for intercluster coordination groups in field operations to fulfil commitments on Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) and to ensure that Protection is central to humanitarian response.

Irish Red Cross and Palang Merah Indonesia Case Study: Community Outreach Programme, Aceh This paper describes the implementation and challenges of the Community Outreach Program (COP), which was developed to support and implement outreach and advocacy initiatives and to encourage two-way dialogue between individuals affected by the 2004 tsunami in Ache, Indonesia, communities, Red Cross Red Crescent (RCRC) Movement Partners, NGO’s, and government entities.

Typhoon Haiyan Learning Review The CDAC Network Learning Review of the humanitarian response to Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines in November 2013, examines initiatives aimed at improving communication with communities, and the coordination of these initiatives.

A learning review of Communications and Community Engagement during the Hurricane Maria Response in Dominica This learning review from the response in Dominica reflects on experiences of communication and community engagement during the response, and shares learning. It highlights examples of good practice, lessons learned and where and why challenges arose.


Communication is Aid video Communication. Why it is as important as food and shelter in emergencies. A brief two-minute introduction.

The CDAC Network Message Library The Message Library is an online, searchable database of prepositioned messages providing a starting point for those wanting to rapidly disseminate critical information to affected populations. Content in Bahasa Indonesia available.

Communicating with communities technical training From a three hour e-learning module on Communication is aid, a two-hour briefing module on communication and community engagement to a five-day technical training course – find the CDAC Network’s complete training programme online and free to use.

You can also find a comprehensive list of CDAC tools and resources which summarises the key publications available to help organisations build capacity for communication and community engagement. Additional resources can also be found in the CDAC Network/IASC AAP Tools, Guidance and Case Studies document. 

Should you have resources that you would like to share with the CDAC Network members partners and with the wider humanitarian sector, please email

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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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