When communities receive clear consistent information that can be used to take action, people have the ability to make important potentially life-saving choices before, during and after a crisis. If they are also given a voice to share their insights, information, and feedback it is also possible for organisations that serve communities in crisis to adjust their strategies and more effectively use their resources.
Over the last two years CDAC, with funding from the Australian Government and in partnership with national disaster management organisations and government ministries and Ground Truth Solutions, has been working to build national Communication and Community Engagement (CCE) platforms in Fiji and Vanuatu. The platforms are designed to embed advanced two-way communication capabilities in national disaster response systems, and are designed to be operational before a disaster hits.
While it is common to think of “platforms” as a technology services, the intent here is much broader. While technology is an important component, today’s best-in-class national CCE “platforms” include a broad network of organisations that collaborate on communications efforts, resources such as guides and training that support efforts, and governance structures that support an integrated communication.
Both platforms were tested earlier this year, when Tropical Cyclone Harold barreled through both nations causing significant damage. In the past few months, we have been assessing how the platforms have performed.
Image top: CARE/Valerie Fernandez 2020