Under DFID’s Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme (2014 – 2018) and as part of the work undertaken by Shongjog, the Bangladesh multi-stakeholder platform for communicating with communities (CwC), the International Organization for Migration and Action Against Hunger jointly undertook an advocacy project. The project aimed to contribute to an increased planning for, and resourcing of CwC by Government, private sector, donors, and civil society actors in Bangladesh. This was planned to be achieved by:
- Increasing awareness among humanitarian/disaster responders – including Government, the RCRC Movement, National NGOs, International NGOs, and UN agencies – of the importance of integrating two-way communication with disaster affected communities during disaster response to ensure accountability to affected people;
- Developing tools for and strengthening awareness among humanitarian response donors to integrate requirements for genuine two-way communication and engagement with communities into their interventions;
- Creating CwC awareness among media and telecom operators to systematically build their involvement in disaster response; and
- Operationalising a government working group on CwC to coordinate information dissemination during disasters.
Participation: The project experienced high participation by the relevant stakeholders, with 73% of the respondents participating in the validation process of the CwC Toolkit, 55% participating in the validation process of the ‘Marker System’. Overall, 85% of the respondents have participated in CwC-focused activities, and a total of ten private sector stakeholders became oriented on CwC.
Attitudes: The project saw some change in understanding and attitude towards CwC, with 77% respondents confirm CwC as a very important part of the humanitarian response. 73% of the respondents making use of CwC-focused publications done by the project within the past year. Overall, attitudes among the stakeholder agencies have been favourable towards CwC activities. Further refinement of the CwC Marker System and Toolkit may increase usage among agencies going forward.
Sustainability: A quarter (25%) of the respondent donor agencies are considering to not financially support standalone CwC components in humanitarian response projects, and 60%of the respondent private sector agencies are not committed to dedicate resources to CwC humanitarian response initiatives yet. More direct engagement will be beneficial to build sustainable and fruitful partnerships, while increasing awareness of CwC activities. Yes, we
Overall, the project has been successful in increasing awareness among humanitarian/disaster responders of the importance of integrating two-way communication with disaster affected communities, developing tools for and strengthening awareness among humanitarian response donors to integrate requirements for genuine two-way communication and engagement with communities into their interventions, creating CwC awareness among media and telecom operators to systematically build their involvement in disaster response, and operationalising a government working group on CwC to coordinate information dissemination during disasters.
The toolkit and key resources developed through the project are available to enable others to replicate the advocacy effort and can be downloaded below. For the full pack follow the external links.
- CwC Mainstreaming Toolkit (English)
- CwC Mainstreaming Toolkit (Bangla)
- Study Report: Understanding Information and Communication Needs
- Scoping Study: Engaging Private Sector in Mainstreaming CwC