Philippines: Community of Practice on Community Engagement Timeline (15 July 2015)
Communications with Communities (CwC) was established as an inter-cluster communication support service and coordination mechanism. The information needs and preferred communication channels assessment was also conducted in partnership with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) and other humanitarian media groups.
Zamboanga Siege (September)
CwC (and later the inclusion of the Accountability to Affected Populations or AAP) field level working group was established. It brought together all actors working on public information and community resource mobilization. It resulted to the conduct of series of transparency forum caravans.
Bohol Earthquake (October)
The first joint and coordinated assessment of information needs and preferred communication channels was conducted by various UN agencies and INGOs, with support from PIA and local government units (LGU). Conduct of transparency forum across all affected areas was considered a good practice.
Typhoon Haiyan (November)
An integrated CwC and AAP field level working groups across humanitarian hubs in Eastern and Western Visayas regions was established. Community consultations and accessibility of various communication and feedback platforms enhanced the meaningful participation of the affected communities. The merging of CwC and AAP was the first in any emergency response.
The Community of Practice (CoP) on Community Engagement was established as part of the preparedness initiative. CoP members were able to preposition both technologies and staff days before the landfall. The use of social media, pre-evacuation community consultations and assessments as well as strong coordination with the local government units worked successfully this time.
The CoP was formalized by January. It has its own Terms of Reference (ToR), strategy and workplan. It also expanded its role to Communications, Accountability, Community Participation and Common Service Partnerships.