The CDAC Network’s Better Dialogue, Better Information, Better Action project aims to improve the delivery of humanitarian assistance through improved two-way communication with disaster affected populations. An emerging sector in humanitarian relief work, communicating with communities, or ‘CwC’, is about meeting the information and communication needs of communities affected by disasters – both natural and manmade. It is rooted in the assumptions that affected communities are best placed to identify their emergency needs, and that information provision itself is a core humanitarian deliverable alongside others such as food, water and shelter. Harnessing the reach and experience of the CDAC Network and its members, the project will pilot CwC initiatives in Bangladesh and South Sudan. The two countries represent contrasting disaster contexts – the former particularly prone to frequent natural disasters, and the latter experiencing protracted manmade conflict.
The learning from these pilots, in conjunction with the global activities of the CDAC Network, will be used to inform the wider humanitarian sector of practical approaches to addressing the shortcomings in meeting the communications needs of affected people. It is intended that this evidence will lead to a sector-wide shift in our approach to communicating with disaster-affected communities.
1 Building capacity in CwC among humanitarian practitioners, especially at the local level
2 Generating evidence around the importance of CwC to influence institutional arrangements and policy environments
3 Establishing and investing in CwC Working Groups – local networks to convene stakeholders in humanitarian
communications, pilot activities, and provide an enabling environment for CwC