The report from the meeting held last year on ‘convened by the Rockefeller Foundation at Bellagio has made a significant endorsement for meaningful CwC with affected communities. The meeting, which included a long list of leading public health responders, the Wellcome Foundation, CDC and a faith leader from Sierra Leone, was attended by Yvonne Macpherson – the Director of BBC media Action US, and the CDAC Network Director, Rachel Houghton.
Contributions from both are quoted at length in the report. They advocated not only for CwC but better engagement with local media and Rachel argued for how CwC should lead a mind set change in humanitarian response. The paper finishes with a main recommendation/conclusion that; ‘Communication must be treated as a vital form of aid , and donors governments and organisations should recognise it as such. During major crises in recent years…’ (both in terms of epidemics and natural disasters) …. ‘the failure of the international community to adopt communication as aid into its humanitarian framework has resulted in significant response gaps’.