What We Do Research & Learning

Research and Learning

Communication and community engagement is critical to more effective preparedness and response. Over the past decade, the value of communication and community engagement has been highlighted across the spectrum of humanitarian action, ranging from protection, to accountability, to safeguarding, to sectoral service provision. There are more opportunities than ever before to speak to, and listen to, people in crisis. 

As part of our research agenda we have carried out learning reviews of collective communication efforts, collated case studies, and developed an online library of relevant literature. There has been wide uptake of the research we have undertaken and published, which includes: Media, Information Systems and Communities: Lessons from Haiti; The Haiti Earthquake Learning Review; Learning from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and Typhoon Bopha in Mindanao; Are You Listening Now; Dominica Response Report; and Real-Time Evaluation of the Rohingya Response (coming soon). 

Through this work and our members’ previous InfoasAid Project, the case for communicating with those affected by disaster is well established.

Our Annual Global Fora offer members, partners and other interested parties the opportunity to collaborate and learn from those leading the way in communications and community engagement innovation. You can read all about our most recent Annual Global Forum in Nairobi.

As part of our ongoing capacity strengthening programme, we have developed guidance and tools for Members and their partners, as well as the wider humanitarian sector through the production of assessment guidelines and “How to” guides. We tested and developed a Communicating with Communities Technical Training and related syllabus, and facilitated training, which is in high demand across the sector. We have organised five-day and one-day courses and seminars, and have developed a roster of rapidly deployable field experts and advisors in partnership with NORCAP.

Guidance has been developed on how to Assess Information and Communication Needs. Our Media Landscape Guides provide detailed information on the media and telecommunications landscape in a variety of countries. They are a useful preparedness and response tools. The Message Libraryis a global resource that attracts more than 1,000 unique visitors per year from all over the globe. This resource has also been further developed to be imbedded into in-country initiatives for coordinating messages.

What they desperately needed was access to local information in a language they understood – could they go home? Where were the local services and who were all these foreigners who said they were coming to help?
Mark Frohardt, Executive Director of Internews Center for Innovation and Learning
I can’t see, so when my radio was destroyed in the cyclone, I felt very isolated. Now that I have a radio, I feel like I can see!
A blind monk in Burma who received a radio after Cyclone Nargis
Poor information flow is undoubtedly the biggest source of dissatisfaction, anger and frustration among affected people.
Tsunami Evaluation Coalition Synthesis Report
If we understand what is going on, we can be patient...
A man talking to the CDA Listening Project in Aceh
A community without a radio is worth nothing...People have already realized here that without radio the region is dead
Internews Humanitarian Information Service in Eastern Chad - Rahma Mohamed Ibed
I would say that registration [of those in camps] would have been almost impossible without the support of the communications teams.
CCCM Cluster Coordinator Haiti
We were trying to be a community safety valve – to sit the two groups down together and find out how they felt about the problems. If we couldn’t get them into the studio we would send the reporters out to the camps.
Radio Absoun, Chad
When people work and sweat in the field together their relationship becomes stronger, and when disaster strikes they will do virtually anything for their team. FRR seeks to build this kind of team in disaster prone countries before disaster strikes and has been taking this approach since 2007.
Mike Adams, First Response Radio