The Communication and Community Engagement Initiative has just published the report of the Africa Regional Workshop in May. The report underlines both the interest in and the commitment to communication and community engagement as a fundamental principle in humanitarian action.
The report concludes: “It was agreed that communications and community engagement should be at the core of everything we do as humanitarians – that no longer can we get away with imposing on people what ‘we’ think is best for ‘them’. Especially with more and more responses being protracted crises or conflict, ‘no time’ to engage communities is unacceptable (but advocacy with donors needs to take place to ensure time is built in to engage communities properly). Changing ‘our’ systems to better accommodate community participation is imperative, but that we should equally consider opportunities for various communities to build response capacity on culture, traditions and challenges.”
More than 60 participants from across the African continent working for the UN, the Red Cross/Crescent movement, NGOs (including media development agencies) and Government were in attendance.
The Communication and Community Engagement Initiative was established by UNICEF, OCHA, IFRC, and other partners, and is convened by the CDAC Network.