This report from IOM assesses Communications with Communities (CwC) efforts in the Philippines to engage the affected population in the months following Typhoon Haiyan.
The report ‘Starting the Conversation: Information, Feedback and Accountability in Post-Typhoon Philippines’ shares findings and recommendations from an in-depth assessment of IOM CwC activities following the storm, which was one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded, leaving a trail of destruction and at least 6,300 people dead.
The assessment was conducted in collaboration with Leyte Normal University in Tacloban, the city hardest hit by Haiyan, and is based on 400 face-to-face interviews, as well as telephone interviews and focus group discussions with community members. It examines the communications preferences in Tacloban during the emergency and recovery phases, identifying radio as the most accessed and preferred media channel following the typhoon. The report notes that most people interviewed felt that they did not receive sufficient aid-related information after the storm, nor did they have a sufficient voice in the humanitarian response.
According to IOM Director of Communications Leonard Doyle, the report will contribute to discussions within the international community examining the importance of information, feedback and accountability for effective humanitarian operations. “When a community is in crisis, good two-way communications channels are essential to enable people to make well-informed decisions and to give them a voice in the humanitarian response,” Doyle notes.
The report reviews several communications tools developed and disseminated through collaboration with Tacloban’s Radyo Abante as part of IOM’s Tindog Kita (‘Rise Together’) communications campaign, which included a radio drama, interactive talk show and key message song. Of the communications components, the song developed jointly with Health Songs International was the most popular and widely known. The report notes that community concerts, mobile downloads and play by other radio stations played a key role in disseminating the song.
The report also provides recommendations for ongoing and future communications campaigns in Haiyan-affected areas.