The CDAC Network Typhoon Bopha Learning Review has been published today. Typhoon Bopha struck the east coast of Mindanao in the southern Philippines on 4 December 2012, leaving at least 1000 people dead and displacing close to 1 million.
As part of the emergency response UNOCHA established a ‘Communication with Communities’ (CwC) Working Group for the first time, which was intended to function as a cross-cluster communication support service and coordination mechanism. In order to document learning from the CwC response to Typhoon Bopha, UNOCHA requested the CDAC Network to carry out a Learning Review. Forty seven key informants, including staff from local government, local media, UNOCHA and other humanitarian actors were interviewed for the review, which was undertaken between July and September 2013. The review was intended to inform UNOCHA’s CwC work in future emergencies, as well as provide insight on implementation of CwC for other humanitarian actors.
The report outlines what happened during the response, documents enabling and impeding factors to CwC work in this context, and highlights examples of good practice and lessons learned. It discusses the added value of the CwC coordination and activities undertaken, and examines perceptions of UNOCHA’s role in CwC coordination at field level. Recommendations are provided to UNOCHA and the CDAC Network. A number of these recommendations were already taken into account by UNOCHA prior to and during the initial stages of the response to Typhoon Haiyan, which made landfall in early November 2013. Although the report was not published at that stage, lessons learned documented in the Typhoon Bopha review were disseminated to CDAC Network Members and other CwC actors at the beginning of the Typhoon Haiyan response.
The Typhoon Bopha Review builds on the CDAC Haiti Learning Review undertaken in 2012, and a methodology is being developed to measure the elements of an effective CwC coordination mechanism. The CDAC Network intends to carry out three new Learning Reviews in 2014 in countries where Members are engaged in CwC coordination, with the aim of better understanding how this works effectively in different contexts.