The British Red Cross has launched its Community Engagement and Accountability hub to provide tools, resources and training materials to volunteers and staff within the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement and aid workers across the sector.
The hub is a free online platform with over 300 resources, providing a ‘one stop shop’ for anyone mainstreaming community engagement and accountability. Materials range from a ready-to-download three-day training package, to a toolkit designed to help set up and manage complaint and feedback mechanisms in any context.
Sophie Everest, British Red Cross community engagement and accountability adviser, said: “Community engagement and accountability is a core approach within the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, and has been a real growth area across the sector in the last few years. From Bangladesh to Mozambique, I have seen the real impact a feedback-centred approach has made to the quality of our programmes and the lives of the people we help.
“We’re delighted to be able to capture and share the invaluable experience held within the Red Cross Movement. We’re hoping everyone will benefit and that this will lead to further innovation and collaborations across the sector.”
The hub, which has been funded by the UK’s Department for International Development, brings together information and expertise from across the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement and is available in English, Spanish, French and Arabic.
The hub also houses a chat forum for users to share their expertise and experiences, and an online library of tools covering topics including rumour tracking, radio programming and mobile cinemas.
“Aid operations only work when we work with people. When we engage, we learn, and we create a better response for people in need. We are seeing the difference this work makes right now during the Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo. By listening and acting on community feedback, the Red Cross has been able to gain acceptance and access in more areas. Over 880 volunteers have gone door-to-door to exchange information and address concerns.”
Community engagement and accountability involves integrating participation and communication with communities into humanitarian responses. Establishing appropriate and trusted two-way communication channels allows the Red Cross to listen to communities and adapt its programming based on the feedback it receives. This helps to ensure responses are reaching the right people in the right way. It also helps ensure operations are accountable to the populations they serve
Find the new Community Engagement and Accountability hub online at: communityengagementhub.org.