Tools and Resources to Build Capacity for Communication and Community Engagement

Organisation: | Mar 2017 Author: Martin Dawes
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This document lists tools and resources either curated or created by the CDAC Network that are available to your organisation to build capacity for communication and community engagement. They can be divided into the following categories:

1. Web Tools
2. CDAC Network Tools
3. Learning Reviews and Associated Case Studies
4. 101 Seminar Reports
5. Working Papers and Articles
6. About the CDAC Network

1. Web Tools

Message Library
Jul, 2014 -

The Message Library is an online searchable database of messages, organised according to the type of threat, that acts as a reference for those wanting to disseminate critical information to affected populations in an emergency. The Message Library, originally developed by infoasaid, has been developed in collaboration with different UN clusters working in humanitarian response. It can be used both as a disaster preparedness tool as well as following the outbreak of an emergency. Translators without Borders has contributed a wide selection of translations to the Message Library, which now exists in: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Hindi, Bahasa Indonesian, Portuguese, Spanish, Somali, Swahili. Extracts, with translations relevant to particular crises such as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Nepal Earthquake, and the Burundian Unrest in 2015, exist in Krio, Temne, Mende, Nepali and Kurundi respectively.

Note: These messages are generic and need further modification to be applicable in any particular situation. For more information on effectively using the Message Library, check out our downloadable User Guide and our FAQ.

Media Landscape Guides
2010 - 2012 -

Originally developed by the infoasaid project, the Media and Telecommunication Landscape Guides (MLGs for short) are online guides that provide comprehensive and detailed information on the media and telecommunications landscape across 20 emergency-vulnerable countries. The CDAC Network, in partnership with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, is currently developing the guides further as part of an ongoing disaster preparedness project. The two pilot countries where this second generation version of the guides will be developed are Bangladesh and South Sudan.

infoasaid E-Learning Module 
2012 -

The infoasaid e-learning course aims to raise awareness about the key components of effective communication with crisis-affected communities, and to build knowledge and skills on how to communicate in practice. The course is divided into five modules. The first two introduce learners to the course and the key concepts it covers. The remaining three modules are interactive, scenario-based challenges and involve learners having to make key decisions to do with communication during an earthquake, a post-conflict situation, and a hurricane/flood.

Saving lives through media - online course on content generation
2016 - 

A free online course from BBC Media Action, Lifeline Programming teaches programme-makers how to share timely, relevant, life-saving information with audiences during humanitarian crises. Also useful for humanitarian practitioners wishing to develop content for disaster affected communities.

Communication is Aid Animation
2012 -

In any emergency, be it natural disaster or man-made, people's lives are turned upside down. Knowing what's happening, where to go for assistance and who to call for help is crucial to their survival and recovery. This animation provides a short introduction to the concept of communication as a form of aid. The video is also available in French here:

Service Directory 
Jul, 2014 -

The Service Directory is a static brokering platform that provides those working in humanitarian response with information about various tools and services at their disposal to help them communicate better with communities. There are a range of resources available that fit a variety of different needs, from managing SMS online for data collection to managing information following a disaster.

2. CDAC Network-developed Tools

Foundation Training on Communication and Community Engagement in Humanitarian Response
Nov, 2013 -  

The Foundation Training is a 1-week introductory course on how to ensure that people affected by crisis have the information they need and that they are able to communicate with each other and with those trying to help them. The course has been developed using experience and knowledge gained in a number of emergencies to improve the outcomes for disaster affected people and help those who wish to be at the forefront of the participation revolution. Courses are run periodically or can be commission by a single or group of agencies. A trainer’s pack is due to be published in late 2017.

Humanitarian Communication Roster
2014 - 

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.

Assessing Information and Communication Needs: A Quick and Easy Guide for Those Working in Humanitarian Response
Jul, 2014 -

This tool provides guidance on steps humanitarian responders can take to assess and determine how to enhance communication with and among communities at different stages of an emergency. Five key questions are suggested, including explanations of why these questions should be asked, and how agencies could act on this data to improve communication in humanitarian response. A ‘Pocket Guide’ is also included, which is designed for field practitioners and can be printed on one double-sided sheet of paper. Part of this is also available in Nepali thanks to Translators Without Borders: Later in 2015 it will also be available in Arabic, French and Spanish.

Suite of Common Needs Assessment Tools
Jul, 2014 -

These tools were developed in a partnership between BBC Media Action, International Media Support (IMS) and Internews. They are a suite of common tools for conducting communication needs assessments following a disaster. The suite of common tools includes:
• A Guidance Note on Using the CDAC Network Common Communication Needs Assessment Tools
• Questionnaire for Use with Affected Population
• Humanitarian Responder Questionnaire
• Media Station Profile Questionnaire

Discussion Starter
Dec, 2014 -

This is a facilitator's guide for an interactive exercise that has been designed to help a group of people discuss the importance of access by a disaster affected community to information and two-way communication. It includes instructions, material for printing and notes to guide a debrief of the exercise. The exercise can be used on its own, or as an introductory session to further discussion or training. The exercise works well for a group of 12-20 people, requires one facilitator and takes 45-90 minutes. After the exercise participants will be able to explain why having access to and sharing information is important to disaster affected people; possible consequences in absence of information; and why humanitarian actors should engage communities through two-way communication.

3. Learning Reviews and Associated Case Studies

‘Voices of Refugees'
Jul 2016 -

Research undertaken by BBC Media Action and supported by DAHLIA that highlights refugees’ overarching need for timely and accurate information about what will happen next, as well as information on how to keep themselves safe in their current situation. Refugees also expressed a need to be listened to and participate in dialogue in their own language, as well as psychosocial support. They also gave suggestions on how their information and communications needs could be met. This research was funded by a grant from UK Aid through the Start Network and commissioned by the CDAC Network. A short film for viewing on a mobile phone was made to accompany the report and was shortlisted for an Amnesty International Media Award in 2016.

Are You Listening Now? Community Perspectives on Communicating with Communities During the Nepal Earthquake Response
Aug, 2016 -

Humanitarian responders are increasingly investing in communicating with communities, including experimenting with new technologies and media, as they explore ways to better reach affected populations. At the same time there is a sense that the ‘added value’ of these CwC initiatives, and particularly how affected communities perceive them, is still often poorly understood. This study begins to fill that knowledge gap. It focuses on the international response to the powerful earthquakes that struck Nepal on 25 April 2015, and again two-and-a-half weeks later on 12 May. It aims to better understand what, if any, benefits and outcomes the many communication activities initiatives implemented in Nepal following the earthquakes have had for affected people, from their perspective.

Typhoon Haiyan Learning Review
Nov, 2014 -

The CDAC Network Learning Review of the humanitarian response to Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines in November 2013, examines initiatives aimed at improving communication with communities, and the coordination of these initiatives. The review captures examples of good practice, gaps and suggestions for improvement in ‘communication with communities’ programming and coordination, and makes recommendations to OCHA (who funded the review) the CDAC Network and donors. There are three case studies associated with this review:

i. Radyo Abante: A Collaborative Commitment to CwC & Accountability
Nov, 2014 -

This case study describes how a humanitarian radio station was set up and used during the response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

ii. Radyo Bakdaw: Accountability and Media In response to Typhoon Haiyan
Nov, 2014 - 

This case study describes the role of a humanitarian radio station in getting communities' questions answered, providing psycho social support and building community resilience in the response to Typhoon Haiyan in Guiuan, the Philippines.

iii. Consolidating Community Feedback through CwC and AAP Technical Working Groups in the Philippines
Nov, 2014 -

This case study describes how Communicating with Communities (CwC) and Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) staff worked together through technical working groups to try and ensure community feedback was acted upon in the response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Typhoon Bopha Learning Review
Oct, 2014 -

This 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. 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.

CDAC Haiti Learning Review
May, 2012 -

In the immediate aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the CDAC Network undertook its first ever ground initiative. This initiative, which came to be known as CDAC Haiti, was funded largely through the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs' (OCHA) Emergency Relief Response Fund (ERRF) with some additional short-term funding in 2011 from the global CDAC Network and the World Health Organisation (WHO). In total, CDAC Haiti received $US 615,000.

This Learning Review aims to document CDAC Haiti's activities, assess achievements, and contribute knowledge about what worked, what didn't, and why. A key component of the Review is the identification of lessons from humanitarian coordination in communications that can be drawn for other emergency operations. The Review was conducted between October 2011 and January 2012.

4. 101 Seminar Reports

Social Media in Emergencies
Dec, 2013 – 

This seminar was led by Anahi Ayala Iacucci of Internews and Gregory Barrow of WFP. The report from the day is separated into two sections: the first section explains why Social Media is useful in emergencies, and the second uses information from case studies and several simulations to examine the challenges of using Social Media in emergencies.

Humanitarian Broadcasting
Jul, 2013 -

On 23 July 2013, the CDAC Network hosted a 101 Seminar on Humanitarian Broadcasting. The Seminar was led by Jacqueline Dalton and Robert Powell of BBC Media Action, and focused on how radio and television can save lives, reduce suffering and strengthen the work of the wider humanitarian relief effort during humanitarian crises. This report provides a short overview of what Humanitarian Broadcasting is, and why it is important to relief efforts. The second half of the report pulls out key lessons, which include important questions, considerations and helpful pointers for effective Humanitarian Broadcasting.

Using SMS in Humanitarian Response
Jun, 2013 - 

Laura Walker-Hudson of SimLab, at the time Frontline SMS, led this half-day seminar, titled 'Community Interaction, Data Gathering and Information Management using SMS'. The aim of the seminar was to explain why SMS is useful in emergency response situations, and how it can be deployed most effectively. This report highlights content from the presentation and draws out key learning from the day.

Humanitarian Financing
Jul, 2013 – 

On 2 May 2013, the CDAC Network hosted a seminar, led by Robert Smith of OCHA, on humanitarian financing mechanisms, particularly different funding streams managed by OCHA with an explanation of how funding could be accessed for CwC. This report details the mechanisms of these funds, specifically: Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) and Emergency Response Fund (ERF) and how NGOs can access them, including avenues of the Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) system.

5. Working Papers and Articles

Policy Brief on the role of Collective Platforms, Services and Tools in supporting Communication and Community Engagement in disaster preparedness and response (working title)
Forthcoming 2017 

The Policy Brief will outline existing normative frameworks and commitments, review good practices, identify existing gaps, and provide policy and programming recommendations to highlight and enhance the role of collective platforms, services and tools in communication and community engagement in disaster preparedness and response.

CDAC Network Submission to the World Humanitarian Summit
Aug, 2015 – 

The CDAC Network sees communication as the way to make aid more people-centred, needs based, and locally-driven. The purpose of the Network’s submission to the WHS is to outline the main challenges and headline the key issues to consider with regard to communication in humanitarian response, while also providing recommendations that challenge ‘ business as usual’.

Working Paper: Communicating with Communities and Accountability
Oct, 2014 - 

This short paper explores what is understood by ‘communicating with communities’ (CwC) as an approach, and considers its relationship with accountability. Many CDAC Network Members were engaged in the development of this paper (as interviewee, peer reviewer or in follow-up discussions) alongside key initiatives and stakeholders external to the CDAC Network, including HAP, CDA and SCHR. The paper highlights the synergies and differences between the two concepts and proposes next steps for how the two concepts can co-exist to benefit and strengthen humanitarian action.

CDAC Network Website and News Articles

Ongoing –

On the CDAC Network website, articles can be found on a range of topics related to communicating with communities. These articles come from the Secretariat, Network Members and other partners, and often focus on substantive issues and also experiences in response situations. Recent articles include:
• What Do We Know About Communicating With Communities Following An Earthquake?
• Tackling The Digital Divide: What Does This Mean For Humanitarian Responders?
• Technology Plus Human Networks Help To Combat Ebola
• Navigating A Crowded Landscape: Digital Tools In Humanitarian Response
• Lessons From Voice Surveys In The Democratic Republic Of Congo And Somalia
• New Humanitarian Use Of An Old Technology: Broadcasting Over Shortwave Radio After A Disaster Hits
• #CDACLearn: The Art of Listening – Setting up a Two Way Communication Centre in Iraq
• Highlights from #CDACLearn Event: Understanding Information and Communication Needs among IDPs in Northern Iraq

6. About the CDAC Network

The CDAC Network Moving Forward: Strategy 2016- 2021
June, 2016 -

The CDAC Network Strategy provides a framework for action for the CDAC Network over the period to 2021. While establishing a clear direction for the CDAC Network, it is designed to be flexible and adaptable to allow the Network to respond to new opportunities as they arise. By clarifying the Network’s vision, purpose and strategic aims, the Strategy is of interest to other stakeholders with whom the Network works.

Fanning the Flame: The CDAC Network – A Movement for Change
Feb, 2015 -

This report charts the story of the CDAC Network to date, from the now infamous ‘pub meeting’ in New York in 2009 to the Network’s first Members’ Council in May 2014. It tells the story of the Network’s formative years; a time of forming and storming as the diverse Membership set about building a movement for fundamental change in the way the humanitarian sector operates.

Download PDF: CDAC Network Tools and Resources - March 2017 Download PDF: CDAC Network Tools and Resources - March 2017

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the CDAC Network. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

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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