As of 31 August 2021, a total of 228,308 refugees mostly of Somali origin, resided in Dadaab refugee complex (Dagahaley, Hagadera and Ifo). A majority of these refugees fled their countries of origin due to conflict and are currently under pressure to return to their countries of origin. However, findings from the 2019 Intentions Assessment suggest that many refugees in Dadaab do not have access to information about their potential areas of return. Moreover, findings from the October 2020 multi-sectoral needs assessment, conducted by REACH and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) indicated a more general lack of information on access to essential services in Dadaab, such as how to apply for birth certificates, where to receive nutrition services, and how to access hygiene promotion messages, among camp residents. Without access to sufficient and relevant information, some refugees and vulnerable host community members may miss out on access to services. Without the relevant information on legal rights and registration processes, access to these services can be challenging.
Various actors implementing programmes in the camps use a mix of mechanisms to disseminate information and collect feedback from the community. To improve the dissemination of information and collect feedback from the community, the Communication with Communities (CWC) working group, led by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), aims to assess and harmonise the different communication channels used to avoid duplication of efforts and ensure coordinated implementation of communication with communities.
To support the CWC in streamlining the communication channels and improve understanding among humanitarian actors of the information gaps of the camp population, REACH, in close coordination with NRC and the CWC, conducted an information needs assessment in Dadaab in August 2021. Equipped with information from this assessment, humanitarian actors could streamline humanitarian funding decisions with the identified priority needs of the refugee community.