I can’t see, so when my radio was destroyed in the cyclone, I felt very isolated. Now that I have a radio, I feel like I can see!
A blind Monk in Burma who received a radio after cyclone Nargis
Poor information flow is undoubtedly the biggest source of dissatisfaction, anger and frustration among affected people
TEC Thematic Evaluation
If we understand what is going on, we can be patient
A man talking to the CDA Learning Project in Aceh
I would say that registration [of those in camps] would have been almost impossible without the support of the communications teams
CCCM Cluster Coordinator Haiti
“A community without a radio is worth nothing,”....“People have already realized here that without radio the region is dead"
Internews Humanitarian Information Service in Eastern Chad
Rahma Mohamed Ibed
“What they desperately needed was access to local information in a language they understood – could they go home? Where were the local services and who were all these foreigners who said they were coming to help?”
Mark Frohardt, at the time Internews’ Vice President for Africa
“We were trying to be a community safety valve – to sit the two groups down together and find out how they felt about the problems. If we couldn’t get them into the studio we would send the reporters out to the camps.”
Information is critical as both a lifesaving device and for ensuring aid is effectively and efficiently targeting the most vulnerable
In January 2010, Haiti was struck by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake which affected over 3,500,000 people. Approximately 220,000 people died and a further 300,000 were injured. Of the survivors, over 1.5 million people became homeless as 180,000 homes were damaged or destroyed. At the peak of the displacement, over 1.5 million people were living in camps where over 100,000 remained at critical risk from storms and flooding. This posed serious health, safety and security risks including cholera, which has been responsible for over 4,000 deaths.
In such a context, information is critical as both a lifesaving device and for ensuring aid is relevant as well as effectively and efficiently targeted toward the most vulnerable. Based on the principle that communcation is aid, the CDAC Network launched a field-level initiative in Haiti in February 2010 to coordinate communications with affected communities in the context of a large-scale emergency response.
CDAC Haiti, as it became known, was initially conceived of as a pilot. However, since many humanitarian actors in Haiti found it relevant and useful, it continued to exist until November 2011. CDAC Haiti was funded largely through the Emergency Relief and Response Fund (ERRF) with some additional short-term funding in 2011 from the global CDAC Network and WHO. As it developed over time and the kind of function it could play became clearer, CDAC Haiti came to operate as a communications sub-group within the UN cluster system. It brought together humanitarian actors, media development organisations, local media and representatives of the Government of Haiti in a collective effort to improve two-way communication between aid providers and the affected Haitian population.
CDAC Haiti was hosted by Internews and supported by OCHA through ERRF grants. Both agencies are Members of the CDAC Network. CDAC Haiti included experts in radio, mass media, SMS, web based and non-mass media communications, public information officers, and journalists (both local and international).
Recently, the CDAC Network has undertaken a Learning Review of CDAC Haiti. The Learning Review examines and assesses:
CDAC Haiti’s objectives;
The role of CDAC Haiti as a coordination mechanism, particularly with regard to its different types of partners;
The relationship of CDAC Haiti vis-à-vis UNOCHA, the cluster system, and Inter-cluster Coordination;
The degree to which partners felt that CDAC Haiti strengthened their ability to coordinate and undertake more effective two-way communications activities;
Governance issues, including the role of Internews as ‘host’ of CDAC Haiti; the role and functioning of the CDAC Haiti secretariat; and, the relationship with CDAC Network at the global level;
Key activities undertaken by CDAC Haiti with its partners;
The management of fundraising activities.
The CDAC Haiti Learning Review is currently being finalised and will be made available on this website soon.