Tools and Resources Humanitarian Communication and Media Roster


When disaster strikes, people need food, shelter, water and safety. They also need information and they need to be able to communicate – with each other and with those trying to help them. Meeting the information and communication needs of people affected by crisis, commonly known as Communicating with Communities (CwC),(1) is increasingly recognised as a core deliverable in humanitarian response.

The Humanitarian Communication Roster offers a range of appropriately qualified, experienced and trained humanitarian communication personnel to deploy to meet this capacity gap, and contribute towards more effective humanitarian action.


What is the Roster?

The Humanitarian Communication Roster is a roster of expert personnel in humanitarian communication managed by NORCAP for the CDAC Network.  It aims to ensure that CDAC Network Members and other humanitarian responders can rapidly access communication experts to enhance their preparedness and emergency response activities to meet the information and communication needs of those affected by crisis.  The roster has been developed with funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UK’s Department for International Development.

What does the Roster do?

Roster experts are deployed at the request of a Humanitarian Country Team, a humanitarian organisation or national disaster management authority, to: 

  • Undertake appropriate assessments of communities’ information and communication needs to inform the humanitarian needs overviews, strategic response plans and programmes;
  • Advocate for and coordinate the development of an appropriate information and communication for communities strategy and operational plan, or implement the activities to achieve the strategy;
  • Promote community engagement throughout the response to ensure that crisis-affected people are equal partners in, and agents of, their own recovery;
  • Ensure that the voices of communities – including the marginalised and vulnerable – are identified and amplified through consultation and dialogue;
  • Identify and build upon local capacities to ensure that existing information and communication channels are complemented, promoting community recovery and resilience;
  • Forge partnerships among humanitarian actors to improve the quality and effectiveness of a response through the pooling of resources and experiences;
  • Generate evidence and learning to inform future programming of communicating with communities’ activities.

Roster members are deployed through the existing humanitarian architecture and reinforce it by providing additional coordination and technical capacity to ongoing cluster or agency-specific initiatives. This is to ensure that the overall communication response is as coordinated and complete as possible.  Deployment to individual agencies is also possible.

Composition of the Roster

The Humanitarian Communication Roster comprises highly qualified professionals who have been through a rigorous recruitment process and matched by skills and experience into the following profiles:

Team Leader: Humanitarian Communication Specialist [SAMPLE TERMS OF REFERENCE]

These specialists lead the Humanitarian Country Team strategic response by offering leadership skills and technical communications expertise to undertake information and communication needs assessments, develop a humanitarian communications strategy and oversee its implementation. They also play a key role in advocating for communication as aid.

    Communicating with Communities Coordinator [SAMPLE TERMS OF REFERENCE]

    These coordinators lead a cross-cluster communicating with communities (CwC) technical working group in support of the Humanitarian Country Team and Inter-Cluster Coordination or provide a coordination function when no working group exists. The working group brings together all actors working in the CwC sector and is expected to provide appropriate technical guidance on CwC to clusters, agency partners, and government.

    Humanitarian Communication Experts and Trainers [SAMPLE TERMS OF REFERENCE]

    This profile covers a range of technical positions that, in their specific roles, facilitate communication with communities, communication among people affected by disaster, and communication with humanitarian responders. These experts have demonstrated know-how in a variety of communication tools and approaches, including radio and video production, print and digital media, ICT, and face to face consultations. These experts are also capable trainers who can strengthen local communication capacity.

    CwC Research and Monitoring & Evaluation Officer [SAMPLE TERMS OF REFERENCE]

    These officers are deployed within a cluster(s), individual agency or the larger CwC working group and are instrumental in information and communication needs assessment, and in monitoring and evaluation in relation to CwC initiatives undertaken by the working group and its members. They may also undertake or coordinate research in relation to CwC.

    Humanitarian Liaison Officer [SAMPLE TERMS OF REFERENCE]

    This profile provides a crucial liaison function for two-way communication flow between affected communities and humanitarian actors. The officers participate in relevant humanitarian coordination forums to relay concerns, questions, feedback or requests gained from disaster affected communities to relevant humanitarian actors in order for them to take action.

    How can I make a request for a Roster expert?

    You can request experienced humanitarian communication personnel for your operations by completing a formal request to NORCAP with a terms of reference.  You may adapt the sample terms of reference given above, based on your identified personnel capacity gap. 

    If your organisation has a partnership agreement with NORCAP, submit your request and terms of reference to NORCAP via your organisation’s standby partner focal point.  If your organisation doesn’t have an agreement, are not sure whether it does or would like to set one up, contact

    For advice on the terms of reference, please contact your CDAC Network focal point if you are from a Member organisation or Angela Rouse

    How can I join the Roster?

    Who we are looking for:  NORCAP recruits men and women with the ability to work in other cultures, who are ready to put in long hours and maintain flexibility and professionalism under stressful conditions.

    We are looking for people who have multiple language skills, previous experience in complex emergencies, ability to adapt to rapidly changing situations, technical competency in media and/or communications, capacity to engage with local populations and media, and in-depth knowledge of the humanitarian response system. Besides having the required technical skills, roster candidates will also be evaluated on a set of core competencies that are essential to working in the humanitarian sector.

    NORCAP recruits experts periodically.  If you meet the requirements outlined in the sample terms of reference for one of the above profiles and would like to join the roster we encourage you to check the following web sites regularly to see if we are searching for profiles matching your background.  All NORCAP vacancies are announced on and

    Where are Roster experts deployed?

    Roster Experts are deployed to high disaster-risk countries and crisis-affected contexts.  Recently experts have been deployed to Vanuatu and Greece. Find more about current and previous deployments at

    Want to know more?

    For more information please contact


    COMING SOON: Download a pdf or PowerPoint version of the Humanitarian Communication Roster information.

    (1) Different terminology is used by different actors and includes: communicating with disaster affected communities, communicating with communities, #commisaid, C4D in Emergencies, beneficiary communication.

    About the CDAC Network

    The CDAC Network is a growing platform of more than 30 humanitarian, media development, social innovation, technology, and telecommunication organisations, dedicated to saving lives and making aid more effective through communication, information exchange and community engagement.

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