Disaster Recovery Guidance Series - Communication during Disaster Recovery

Manual and Guideline
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This Guide provides practical guidance for governments regarding how to effectively communicate with communities during the recovery phase following an emergency. It explains how to identify communication needs, and presents “best fit” communication methods and strategies to deploy to support Disaster Recovery Frameworks (DRF) and recovery strategies.

For the purposes of this Guide, recovery communication includes sending, gathering, managing and evaluating information.

Communication flows between governments and communities can be one-way, whereby information is sent out to communities, and/ or two-way, whereby communities have an opportunity to voice their views/opinions to governments. Past recovery experience suggests it is critically important that governments do more than just send information to communities. They should also engage in twoway communication. Two-way communication helps ensure that recovery priorities in DRFs and recovery strategies align with community priorities, thereby harmonizing recovery efforts of governments and communities.

This Guide is intended primarily for local and national government officials and key decision makers involved in disaster recovery planning and operations. As such, it is also likely to include finance and/or central planning agencies responsible for coordinating the development of a whole-of-government DRF or similar recovery strategy. Other local and national stakeholders including civil society organizations (CSOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and private sector entities also may benefit from the guide.

The Guide is divided into six sections, as follows:

SECTION 1 Good Practice Principles for Effective Communication
SECTION 2 Barriers to Effective Communication
SECTION 3 How to Identify Communication Needs during Recovery
SECTION 4 Communication Methods for Recovery Planning and Operations
SECTION 5 Developing a Communication Plan
SECTION 6 Key Take-away Messages

This Guide focuses on external government communication with individuals and communities. It is not aimed at supporting internal communication within government.

Also, there is no specific geographic focus to this resource. Rather, it has been developed to support communication during recovery planning and operations in a range of different country contexts. Similarly, this Guide is designed to be applicable to any disaster type (for example, storms, floods, landsides, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, drought, wildfires), as individuals and communities often require the same types of information, irrespective of the type of disaster. The information contained herein is useful for guiding effective communication in large- to small-scale recovery contexts. The Guide is also applicable to conflict settings, as disasters often strike countries affected by conflict and fragility.