The CDAC Network’s drive for communication and better engagement with affected communities is informed on a daily basis by its projects funded through a landmark grant by the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID).
Launched in early 2015, and hosted by the international relief and development organisation World Vision UK on behalf of the Network, the three year, £3 million project is part of the £40 million Disasters and Emergency Preparedness Programme (DEPP).
Now entering its final stage, funds have been released to unlock very precise bottlenecks or fill identified knowledge gaps. These small scale projects, undertaken by member organisations in Communicating with Communities Working Groups in Bangladesh and Philippines, may help solve long standing issues at a national level, improve disaster relief and inform global humanitarian response.
A year ago the Grand Bargain of the World Humanitarian Summit announced not only a ‘Participation Revolution’ but a promise to ensure more funding went to local actors. Included here are a number of interviews with those leading the kind of inquiry, learning or targeted advocacy being enabled by the CDAC Network approach and DEPP funding..
1) Abdul Alim of ActionAid Bangladesh speaks frankly on the challenges involved in creating participatory video to allow affected people to give realistic feedback to policy makers- a first in Bangladesh
2) Len Manriquez of the Peace and Journalism Network and Pecojon and Jing Rey Henderson of NASSA/ Caritas in the Philippines outline how they work to make sure community voices are heard to shape response in conflict and natural disasters
3) Mamunur Rahman of BBC Media Action in Bangladesh says there is not a culture of using social media for humanitarian action in his country, but his research shows it is a resource that could save lives.
4) Another under-developed communication resource in Bangladesh for emergency early warning and response is Community Radio- and the Bangladesh Red Crescent is producing guidelines to improve programming. Shahinur Rahman and Sayeeda Farhan explain
5) Monira Pravin of BRAC says research amongst remote communities is showing how they pass the word about weather threats, and how this could be used to shape warnings and other messages
6) Asfara Ahmed of BBC Media Action in Bangladesh says there is a ‘paradigm shift’ happening that means responders are no longer seeing affected as passive recipients. She heads a training project on communicating with affected communities
7) Advocacy, and marshalling the right evidence in the right way for the right audience to effect change. Shuchismita Roy of Action Against Hunger speaks about the products and materials being produced to persuade those who set policy and organize humanitarian action in Bangladesh to involve communities. The target for Mansoor Shakil of the IOM , are the donors. He is involved with developing a 'marker' to assess proposals on how they measure up in terms of community engagement.
Another country where CDAC Network members have been collaborating is South Sudan, with a project funded through the UK DEPP programme is designed to increase the two way communication between affected communities and humanitarian agencies, even in conflict and considerable disruption. Hear the interview with Daniel Atem here where he speaks about some of the success and the challenges.
The Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme works to develop effective response where it is needed most, and aims at a major improvement in the way countries cope with populations caught up in a disaster or conflict. This ground breaking programme, one of the largest investments of its kind, is managed collaboratively by the CDAC and Start Networks. Between them they leverage the expertise of more than 50 member organisations.
The Start Network is a collaboration between international humanitarian NGOs working together to connect people in crisis with the best possible solutions. The Network enables collaborative approaches to financing, capacity building and innovation, and its reach extends to over a million staff working in more than 200 countries and territories. Together, the Start Network members are working to strengthen the humanitarian sector so that it can meet the needs of crisis-affected people today and tomorrow.