Integrating Local Media and ICTs into Humanitarian Response in CAR

Organisation: Internews

Partners: UNOCHA, Ushahidi

Location: Central African Republic (CAR)

Type of grant: Core – implementation

Status: Completed

  • InternewsEurope HIF photo

  • CARMap

  • April training 2012 058


Summary: An innovative system that will foster a bounded network of trusted local media organisations to gather real-time first-hand information from affected populations to create a two-way communication flow with humanitarians that improves emergency response, community participation & community resilience.

Challenge(s) addressed:

  • Limited capacity to obtain timely, relevant and up to date, quality information about the local context often undermines humanitarian responses.
  • A lack of reliable channels for both receiving and communicating critical information to and from affected communities similarly limits the effectiveness of humanitarian aid.
  • Adequate follow-up, monitoring and evaluation of the impact of humanitarian communication efforts are lagging behind advancements in the application of new technologies to the humanitarian context.

Innovation Factor: This project applies new technologies, particularly mapping and SMS opportunities, to make better use of crowd-sourced information to understand the local information ecosystem and needs, improve two-way communication channels, and link local and international institutions to the local media, all while mitigating the risk of data fragmentation by creating a new channel through which existing systems may ‘speak to’ and enhance each other.

Added Value: This new media and communications system will increase the efficiency, transparency and accountability of humanitarian relief efforts and increase community resilience by leveraging the relationship that local media have with their communities while being strengthened in this task by technological solutions.

Input: CAR presents the humanitarian community with a range of complex and protracted emergencies where access to and the sharing of information with affected communities is essential. On a day-to-day basis, refugees and IDPs need to understand the support and assistance available to them, and to be able to hold the actors responsible for their safety and well being to account. With the passage of time, refugees also need channels by which to understand the emerging situations in their home countries. Meanwhile in an area as volatile as south-eastern CAR, the humanitarian sector can struggle to access accurate information on the current scale and patterns of LRA attacks; this in turn can hamper their response and access to preventative information for the community.

Key Deliverables / Impact:

  • Create a sustainable emergency preparedness and response mechanism that will connect local media, humanitarians and affected populations through a tangible and sustainable two-way communication channel in the context of a protracted and complex emergency, by:
  • Improve relationships between affected communities and humanitarians by creating opportunities for communities to become an active part of an innovative, coherent, user-friendly, high-impact communication system.
  • Equip humanitarian actors with a meaningful data stream that allows them to improve the quality and timeliness of operational response.

Summary: An innovative system that will foster a bounded network of trusted local media organisations to gather real-time first-hand information from affected populations to create a two-way communication flow with humanitarians that improves emergency response, community participation & community resilience.

Challenge(s) addressed:

Limited capacity to obtain timely, relevant and up to date, quality information about the local context often undermines humanitarian responses.
A lack of reliable channels for both receiving and communicating critical information to and from affected communities similarly limits the effectiveness of humanitarian aid.
Adequate follow-up, monitoring and evaluation of the impact of humanitarian communication efforts are lagging behind advancements in the application of new technologies to the humanitarian context.

Innovation Factor: This project applies new technologies, particularly mapping and SMS opportunities, to make better use of crowd-sourced information to understand the local information ecosystem and needs, improve two-way communication channels, and link local and international institutions to the local media, all while mitigating the risk of data fragmentation by creating a new channel through which existing systems may ‘speak to’ and enhance each other.

Added Value: This new media and communications system will increase the efficiency, transparency and accountability of humanitarian relief efforts and increase community resilience by leveraging the relationship that local media have with their communities while being strengthened in this task by technological solutions.

Input: CAR presents the humanitarian community with a range of complex and protracted emergencies where access to and the sharing of information with affected communities is essential. On a day-to-day basis, refugees and IDPs need to understand the support and assistance available to them, and to be able to hold the actors responsible for their safety and well being to account. With the passage of time, refugees also need channels by which to understand the emerging situations in their home countries. Meanwhile in an area as volatile as south-eastern CAR, the humanitarian sector can struggle to access accurate information on the current scale and patterns of LRA attacks; this in turn can hamper their response and access to preventative information for the community.

Key Deliverables / Impact:

Create a sustainable emergency preparedness and response mechanism that will connect local media, humanitarians and affected populations through a tangible and sustainable two-way communication channel in the context of a protracted and complex emergency, by:
Improve relationships between affected communities and humanitarians by creating opportunities for communities to become an active part of an innovative, coherent, user-friendly, high-impact communication system.
Equip humanitarian actors with a meaningful data stream that allows them to improve the quality and timeliness of operational response.

Elrha is hosted by Save the Children, a registered charity in England and Wales (213890) and Scotland (SC039570).

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