People need information as much as water, food, medicine or shelter. Information can save lives, livelihoods and resources. It may be the only form of disaster preparedness that the most vulnerable can afford. The right kind of information leads to a deeper understanding of needs and ways to respond. The wrong information can lead to inappropriate, even dangerous interventions.
Information bestows power. Lack of information can make people victims of disaster. Do aid organizations use information to accumulate power for themselves or to empower others? The report calls on agencies to focus less on gathering information for their own needs and more on exchanging information with the people they seek to support.
The World Disasters Report 2005 features:
- Data or dialogue? The role of information in disasters
- Hurricane early warning in the Caribbean
- Locusts in West Africa: early warning, late response
- Information black hole in Aceh
- Sharing information for tsunami recovery in South Asia
- Humanitarian media coverage in the digital age
- Radio in Afghanistan: challenging perceptions, changing behaviour
- Disaster data: key databases, trends and statistics
Published annually since 1993, the World Disasters Report brings together the latest trends, facts and analysis of contemporary crises -- whether 'natural' or human-made, quick-onset or chronic.