In 2014 the CDAC Network was awarded a landmark grant by the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) to establish communicating with communities (CwC) as a predictable and resourced component of humanitarian response.
Launched in early 2015, and hosted by the international relief and development organisation (and Network Member) World Vision UK on behalf of the Network, the three year, £3 million project is part of a new £40 million Disasters and Emergency Preparedness Programme (DEPP) launched by DFID in response to the UK Government's 2011 Humanitarian Emergency Response Review.
The aim of the investment is to effect a significant improvement in the speed and delivery of humanitarian assistance to disaster affected communities in high risk countries.
The grant will enable the CDAC Network to gather evidence about the types of communication initiatives that have the most value in times of emergency. It will build on the learning already generated by the Network's engagement in a number of international responses, including Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and the displacement of communities in northern Iraq, and will deliver a package of locally-defined initiatives through networks of local and international actors in Bangladesh and South Sudan.
In Bangladesh BBC Media Action, a founding member of the CDAC Network and with a wealth of experience using communication to improve humanitarian response, will host the grant. The host agency for South Sudan will be Internews, also a founding member of the Network with a track record of working with media professionals to improve open access to information in some of the world's most challenging contexts.
In both countries, the grant is transforming local CwC Working Groups into sustainable multi-stakeholder platforms to further CwC objectives both during and beyond the programme timeframe. The Working Groups are convening CDAC Network Members and other stakeholders from within the humanitarian, communications and public sectors; emphasis is placed on the participation of local agencies. Through a flexible funding allocation as part of the DFID investment the Working Groups will design and lead a programme of context-specific work in each country, in the spirit of collaboration and partnership.
Commenting on the project, DEPP Programme Manager Johnathan Napier says 'DFID's funding of the DEPP is a significant and exciting moment not just for us at the CDAC Network but for the broader humanitarian community. Never before has so much been invested in such a deliberate way to support capacity strengthening, at scale, over time; this is a significant opportunity to demonstrate why it is so important to invest in activities that support communicating with disaster affected communities.'
2015 was focused on setting up the foundations of a complex multi-stakeholder programme: hiring staff, sub-contracting partner agencies, identifying key relationships and building in-country support for the Working Groups. 2016 will see the transformation of the Working Groups into resourced, sustainable multi-stakeholder platforms geared towards establishing CwC as a predictable and resourced component of humanitarian response, initially in Bangladesh and South Sudan, and then leverage the reach of the CDAC Network to amplify their work on a global scale.
Latest update: June 2015
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.