Saturday, 7 May 2011

[creative-radio] Disasters: Humanitarian Communication


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From: The Drum Beat <>
Date: 6 May 2011
Subject: The Drum Beat 585 - May 9 2011

The Drum Beat - Issue 585 -
Disasters: Humanitarian Communication
May 9 2011


This issue includes:
* VOICES from Haiti.
* NEW REPORT: Humanitarian Emergency Response Review (HERR).
INFORMATION strategies in disasters worldwide.
publications through The CI!
* Strengthening COLLABORATION in
challenging contexts.
* Involving MEDIA.
'Glocalising' journalism education.
* Involving YOUTH.
disaster-related resources.


From The Communication Initiative Network - where communication and media
are central to social and economic development.

Subscribe to
The Drum Beat:
Access this issue online at


The devastating March 11 2011
earthquake, tsunami, and aftershocks that rocked Japan have alarmed and
activated the international community. Below please find some items
available on The Communication Initiative website that address the use of
communication for disaster relief and humanitarian aid.



1.      Communicating with Disaster Affected
Communities (CDAC)
CDAC is a cross-cluster service working to enable
humanitarian operations to get information to those populations affected
by Haiti's January 12 2010 earthquake and its aftermath and to channel
their voices back to the providers of assistance working with local media
and non-mass-media communications. CDAC uses various information and
communication methods in an effort to act as a source of expertise and
advice, a community of practice, and an advocacy platform that aims at
ensuring that the humanitarian sector mainstreams CDAC and that local
media play a role in maximising aid effectiveness, accountability, and

2.      When Communicating Really Matters:
The Experience of CDAC in Haiti
by Jacobo Quintanilla
just over a year after the earthquake in Haiti, this article examines the
strategies being used by the CDAC (described in #1, above). From the
author's perspective, while strong work has been done, challenges remain
- most of which focus on the importance of genuine participation of
affected communities.

3.      Global Media in Disasters and
Media Disasters: Alleged Looters in Haiti
by Jude Fernando

This June 2010 document from the Communication for Social Change
Consortium discusses the damage done by media's repetition of images of
looting during the immediate aftermath of the Haiti disaster. Though the
author acknowledges the value of international disaster relief, he finds
that local strategies and organisations which were working before,
during, and after international relief organisations come and go continue
to be underfunded and receive little or no media attention.

4.      Crowdsourcing Crisis Information
in Disaster-Affected Haiti
by Jessica Heinzelman and Carol Waters
This October 2010 report discusses the function of crowdsourcing in the
aftermath of Haiti's earthquake. Ushahidi, an open-source crisis-mapping
software, provided a way to capture, organise, and share critical
information coming directly from Haitians. Information was gathered
through social media (e.g., blogs, Twitter, and Facebook) and text
messages sent via mobile phones and placed on maps available online.
According to this report, the project provides "a foundational model
for the international community to leverage and improve upon in advance
of future emergencies."

5.      Enfomasyon Nou Dwe Konnen (News
You Can Use)
Nine days after the January 12 2010 earthquake in
Haiti, local radio stations began airing Creole-language humanitarian
information broadcasts produced by Internews in collaboration with a
growing alliance of humanitarian aid and media assistance providers.
Enfomasyon Nou Dwe Konnen (News You Can Use) is produced daily and
distributed to local radio stations.


Humanitarian Emergency Response
Review (HERR)

In July 2010, the Department for International
Development (DFID) commissioned a taskforce of experts to review the way
the United Kingdom (UK) responds to humanitarian emergencies. The
Humanitarian Emergency Response Review (HERR) examined innovation and
opportunities presented by new technologies and new partnerships.

The report recommends that DFID do more to help people become
better prepared to cope with the impact of future disasters and
emergencies by putting resilience and preparedness at the heart of what
it does and integrating this with its mainstream development work.

The results of this independent review were presented at a launch
event on March 28 2011. To read the review in PDF format, see:



 Left in the Dark: The Unmet Need for Information in Humanitarian
by Imogen Wall and Lisa Robinson
This October 2008
policy briefing explores the value of providing information and
communication to disaster-affected populations by drawing on the example
of the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster - where, as stated here, the
greatest dissatisfaction of the victims was over the poor information
flow. "The humanitarian system as it stands is not equipped with
either the capacity or the resources to begin tackling the challenge of
providing information to those affected by crises. There is very little
dedicated public communications capacity within major humanitarian

7.      infoasaid - Global
seeks to improve how aid agencies communicate with disaster-affected
communities. The emphasis is on the need to deliver not just material
supplies in times of crisis but, rather, information - defined here as
aid itself. Amongst its actions: infoasaid is producing a library of
generic key messages (with some tailoring for local context) to be
conveyed to the affected populations during an emergency.

8.      Bravos do Zambeze - Mozambique
Launched in November 2009, this media project is designed to
communicate information about disaster risk reduction in Mozambique. The
project includes a 26-part radio drama with an accompanying presenters'
guide and a media training workshop. By using an edutainment approach to
convey information and messages, Bravos do Zamebeze seeks to increase
awareness about how to respond and what to do to prepare for disasters.

9.      ICT for Disaster Risk Reduction
From May 2010, this set of case studies explores the ways in which
information and communication technology (ICT) has positively impacted
the various phases of disaster management. The document highlights the
different digital technologies and their use to reduce disaster risks.
The need for journalism and media development is also recognised.


Advertise Your Publications
through The CI

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Collaboration between Faith-based Communities and Humanitarian Actors when
Responding to HIV in Emergencies
by Fiona Samuels, Rena Geibel, and
Fiona Perry
This Overseas Development Institute (ODI) Project
Briefing explores the "unexploited capacity" that faith-based
communities (FBCs) have in delivering HIV prevention, treatment, and
care. It states that misconceptions may have been hampering humanitarian
organisations from engaging with FBCs due to, for example, the worry that
FBCs are unable to provide HIV prevention services without a religious
agenda. This briefing presents key findings and recommendations for the
faith community and humanitarian actors.

11.     States of Fragility: Stabilisation and
Its Implications for Humanitarian Action
by Sarah Collinson, Samir
Elhawary, and Robert Muggah
One section of this May 2010 Working
Paper argues that weaknesses in the evidence-base for many stabilisation
strategies in so-called fragile contexts are compounded by weaknesses in
human resourcing and communication. In Helmand Province in Afghanistan,
for example, the United Kingdom has sought to stimulate political
engagement between local residents and their provincial leaders.
"The level and nature of the political and strategic ambition among
key international and national actors will prove crucial in all respects,
including for humanitarian actors and humanitarian space."


World Press Freedom Day Podcast
This podcast from the United Nations
Children's Fund (UNICEF) series on education in emergencies commemorates
World Press Freedom Day (May 3) 2010. One point to emerge: Media coverage
and stories from conflict zones can shape the international response to
humanitarian emergencies and, ultimately, impact the lives of children
and protect their fundamental rights.

13.     Strengthening Disaster Prevention and
Resilience: Developing Media and NGO Capacity to Increase Awareness among
Communities in the Indian States of West Bengal and Orissa
December 2007, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) World Service
Trust (WST) launched a 15-month pilot project to build the capacity of
India's media, government, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to
communicate effectively and regularly about disaster risk reduction
issues. Drawing on face-to-face capacity building sessions, the
initiative is shaped by the observation that radio, print, and television
journalists have a crucial role to play in raising awareness amongst the
public about risk management.

14.     In a Disaster, Local Media Need
by Edward Girardet
According to this November 2005
article, while the importance of good information and media during
humanitarian emergencies is increasingly being recognised, this has not
translated into much-needed financial support. The author suggests that
material relief, such as food and medicine, takes precedence over
information, even if it helps survivors make informed decisions about
their own well-being. He notes that local journalists can be quickly
trained in "humanitarian" awareness, enabling them to know how
aid operations work and what sort of information survivors need.


Approaches to Journalism Education and Training

journal Asia Pacific Media Educator (APME) is extending a Call for Papers
for inclusion in its December 2011 issue on the theme of 'Glocalising'
Approaches to Journalism Education and Training. 'Glocalising' here
refers to the observation that online access to media news sites and news
events as they are breaking anytime anywhere is reshaping journalism's
locality - once limited by geography and time but now connecting
disparate worlds of thoughts and communities by imageries and stories
written by (professional and amateur) journalists from anywhere anytime
and uploaded to websites for global readership.

Key questions
of interest for this thematic issue include: Are curriculum contents,
research directions, and discourse in journalism education and training
in Asia keeping pace with the 'glocalising' of the news environment? How
are journalism educators preparing their students for a 'glocalised'
media market?

APME is inviting submissions of 300- to
350-word abstracts for consideration of a full paper (commentaries =
3,000 to 3,500 words; research papers = not exceeding 6,000 words
inclusive of references and endnotes; Q&A with journalists and book
authors = not exceeding 3,000 words) for peer review.

more information on the specific topics - and/or to submit an abstract -
please contact APME's Editor, Eric Loo

May 30 2011.



15.     Children and Youth at the
Centre - El Salvador
Plan International has mobilised children and
youth in El Salvador to work with their communities in developing risk
maps, designing community emergency plans, setting up early warning
systems, and implementing response, mitigation, and risk reduction plans,
among other activities. Training on risk reduction and mitigation has
been carried out through tools such as: participatory vulnerability
assessment, risk vulnerability and capacity mapping, preparation of
community plans, and coordination and mobilisation of groups with
municipal governments, schools, and civil society organisations. Support
has also been provided for micro-projects designed and implemented by
youth groups seeking to raise awareness about risk reduction, and to
strengthen inter-institutional networks to ensure children's voice in
other disaster prevention projects.

16.     Disaster Prevention and Emergency
Response with Native and Mestizo Communities in the Amazonas Region of
Soluciones Practicas - ITDG (Intermediate Technology
Development Group) embarked on a project to enhance the capacity of
Peru's native and Mestizo (of mixed race) communities to respond to
disasters and reduce vulnerability to natural hazards. Activity
coordination between schools and communities led to a focus on the
centrality of youth participation. Students formed learning circles for
risk management, which became part of the project's group of
communicators, helping to raise awareness and promote disaster risk
reduction activities in the communities. Educational materials (stories,
posters, puzzles) in the native Awajun and Kechua languages were also

17.     Disaster Preparedness Action Plan
This project aims to ensure long-term sustainability of
disaster risk reduction activities by securing the commitment,
involvement, and resourcefulness of local communities. Sixty-four village
committees - in the form of community-based organisations (CBOs) - were
initially formed; one of the activities has been dissemination of
information by Youth Rescue Groups (volunteer groups). Public awareness
on disaster preparedness was raised through school competitions, as well
as training, evacuation drills, and information, education, and
communication (IEC) material.


See also:

Drum Beat 427 - Emergency Communication

The Drum Beat 283 - Tsunami Communication Responses

The Drum Beat 274 - Responding to Emergencies and Disasters


This issue of The Drum Beat was
written by Kier Olsen DeVries.


The Drum Beat is the email and web network of The Communication
Initiative Partnership - ANDI, BBC World Service Trust, Bernard van Leer
Foundation, Calandria, CFSC Consortium, CIDA, DFID, FAO, Fundación
Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano, Ford Foundation, Healthlink Worldwide,
Inter-American Development Bank, International Institute for
Communication and Development, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public
Health Center for Communication Programs, MISA, PAHO, The Panos
Institute, The Rockefeller Foundation, SAfAIDS, Sesame Workshop, Soul
City, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNICEF,
USAID, WHO, W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Chair of the Partners
Group: Garth Japhet, Founder, Soul City

Executive Director: Warren Feek


The Editor of The Drum Beat is Kier Olsen

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