Communication and Aid in the digital age: how new technologies are transforming the way affected peoples interact with humanitarian responses – a CDAC Network event at the WSIS Forum
Date: April 9, 12pm-1pm Geneva time
Humanitarian communication already struggles to get cut through in a world in which recipients of aid often have a far better understanding of communication technologies than the humanitarians that assist them. Refugees are connected with one another over smart phones, disaster survivors can mark themselves safe on a social media app and conflict is livestreamed on YouTube. Messages, hashtags, images, and videos shared by response survivors can gain traction in minutes drastically shaping people’s perception of a context and their response to it. The traditional vertical humanitarian communications structure is rapidly being replaced by a horizontal model in which local, digital peer-to-peer channels consistently outperform institution-led messaging in terms of both receptivity and trust.
The widening access to digital communication channels means humanitarians are no longer gatekeepers of information - while they remain the gatekeepers of aid.
So, what does Communication is Aid look like when the affected population is not a communications monolith? Is this a communications catastrophe waiting to happen? Or localization in action?
The CDAC workshop at the WSIS Forum will brings together some of the world’s brightest thought-leaders to discuss the future of communication as aid:
• Andrew Bredenkamp: Chair, Translators without Borders
• Tala Budziszewski: Associate Innovation Officer - Accountability to Affected People, UNHCR
• Titilope Eluwa: Accountability and Gender Equality Adviser, Save The Children International
• Mike Adams: International Coordinator, First response Radio