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.”
The International Peace Institute (IPI) together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), hosted an interactive discussion, video presentation, and launch of a five-case study report on the role of new technologies in the prevention of violent conflict earlier this month.
This briefing focuses on how one of the greatest engines of innovation in the 21st century – the mobile phone – provides a high-impact solution to save lives. It identifies three aspects of mHealth – the delivery of healthcare information and services via mobile communication devices – that renders it such a potentially robust healthcare tool:
• Reach. The first is its capacity to leverage existing – and quite basic – phones to provide life-saving information to people in difficult-to-reach, rural areas.
Twitmobil is a system of receiving Twitter feeds on a mobile phone by subscribing to a specific feed. It is a service available via both mobile phone networks in Haiti (Digicel and Voila), whereby subscribers who have a Twitter account can – instead of using the Internet – receive any tweets posted by their chosen Twitterers, real time on their mobile phones.
The Haitian group, Sosyete Animasyon ak Kominakasyon Sosyal (SAKS) and Japanese NGO, Basic Human Needs (BHN) began the Community Address System (CAS) as a disaster risk reduction early warning system across 13 camps in Leogane (1), west of the Haitian capital, Port au Prince. The original concept was to install loudspeakers and sirens in the camps to ensure that warnings about hurricanes or other hazards could be quickly and easily shared with the whole community.
After the earthquake, the British Red Cross (BRC) established a programme to subsidise the school fees of 8,000 children displaced by the earthquake to the southern rural area of Les Cayes. After assessing families to see if they qualified, BRC faced the problem of communicating its decision to the many thousands of families involved. These were mostly scattered across a large area and involved many different schools.
The Canadian Red Cross (CRC) began developing information kiosks in response to the need to improve information sharing between the organisation and camp/community residents with whom they were working, particularly with regard to shelter. The kiosks consist of a two-sided structure, including two sheltered standalone bulletin boards and a suggestions box. Approximately three were set up in each CRC community (nearly 50 overall), depending on the size of the community.
The provision of shelter to earthquake survivors is one of the most complex and emotive aspects of the overall response to the disaster. In an environment as volatile as Haiti, where some communities react violently to perceived mishandling of projects, threats to destroy aid such as t-shelters have been reported by several partners and maintaining a secure working environment can be a major challenge.
Sellina Narumbe is a pastoralist from Isiolo, northern Kenya. Reliant on her livestock for her survival, she has been hit hard by the ongoing drought sweeping parts of the country. Lack of pasture has killed forty of her fifty goats, and left her with only seven cows from her original stock of twenty.
In any emergency, be it natural disaster or man-made, long- or short-term, people's lives are turned upside down. Knowing what's happening, where to go for assistance and who to call for help is crucial to their survival and recovery.
As famine is declared in five regions of neighbouring Somalia, ActionAid is working to improve vital communication with drought-affected populations in northern Kenya.
FrontlineSMS lowers barriers to driving transformative social change using mobile technologies. They build and distribute free and open-source software, provide support and resources to those using their software, and share their expertise to help inspire others.
FrontlineSMS believes in giving local people ownership of the tools they need to change their world for the better.