On the Ground

FOUNDATION TRAINING ON COMMUNICATION AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IN HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE

Background

There is a considerable demand from government officials, humanitarian responders and project staff to understand how to communicate more effectively with affected populations and to make sure their knowledge and experience helps builds effective response. The Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities (CDAC) Network has developed Foundation Training using experience and knowledge gained in a number of emergencies to improve the outcomes for disaster affected people and help those who wish to be at the forefront of the participation revolution. The development, piloting and roll out of the Foundation Training has been funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).


Course Aim

The training takes those tasked with creating effective action through the theory, practice and practical steps so communicating with communities is part of normal operational practice, and becomes a predictable, consistent and resourced element of emergency preparedness and response.

Objectives
The Foundation Training is an introductory course on how to ensure that people affected by crisis have the information they need and that they are able to communicate with each other and with those trying to help them.  By the end of the course, participants will be able to demonstrate:

  1. Knowledge and understanding of the core elements of communicating with communities in a humanitarian response, as well as of the roles and expertise of different humanitarian actors
  2. Practical skills in how to apply this knowledge to information needs assessments, advocacy for communication with communities, and the development and monitoring of a communicating with communities strategy
  3. Understand the different means of communication and the advantages and challenges related to communicating with communities in different humanitarian contexts
  4. Practical skills in working across new and existing partnerships within the humanitarian architecture to coordinate and implement communicating with communities activities.


Who is the Training Intended For?

The Foundation Training has been designed primarily for humanitarian programme staff, team leaders and managers with limited or no experience of communicating with communities. These may come from national and international NGOs, UN agencies, governments, donors and private sector actors involved in or planning to be involved in communicating with communities. Participation is encouraged from staff from all sectors (shelter, food security and livelihoods, camp coordination and camp management, etc.) working in programme delivery.  It is also suitable for emergency deployment roster / surge staff.


Participant selection

The maximum number for each course is 25 participants in order to achieve effective learning.  Potential participants are asked to complete an application form which examines their motivation for applying, current knowledge and skill level, and their perceived learning needs to enable tailoring of the content.

Participants should have:

  • A profile that corresponds to the intended audience as outlined above
  • A contract with their organisation for a minimum 6 months after the course
  • A commitment to communicating with communities and willingness to learn and implement learning in their role
  • The support of their line manager to release the participant from their normal duties to attend the course and to implement learning after the course
  • Verbal and written skills in the language of delivery of the training (currently English only).

Course Methodologies

The Foundation Training is a 5-day intensive training course, held face-to-face. It blends theory and practice to develop participants’ knowledge, understanding and skills.  The course has a modular design, enabling it to be run as a complete course or as specific sessions over shorter periods.  Each session has predefined objectives and content materials, with detailed session plans to guide the facilitators.  These are adapted to both the context the course is being run in and its participants.

For further information please contact sarah.mace@cdacnetwork.org

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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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