This review by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) details and assesses the success of their communications activities with beneficiaries in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake. The Haiti Red Cross Society and IFRC developed a range of innovative tools that helped to create two-way dialogue between staff and volunteers working in the region and those they were attempting to support.
The review suggests that communication that enables dialogue can help to determine what support disaster affected people need, and more importantly, what they do not need. The review states that the success of the IFRC Beneficiary Communications programme in Haiti is clear, as information being provided by the Red Cross Red Crescent achieved good coverage, with a large majority of people reporting receiving information, finding this information useful, and sharing it with others in their community. The report includes case studies of new and traditional communication channels that were used in the response, including: the TERA SMS system, an interactive voice response (IVR) system which was able to deal with both complaints and advice services; a weekly radio show featuring interviews and advice; and sound trucks which were able to bring hygiene and health messaging directly into the camps. The report provides a number of recommendations and key steps to improve communication with affected people in the future.