A global network of aid agencies has launched four new “innovation labs” in Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya and the Philippines, aimed at finding fresh ways to help local communities prepare for disasters.
The move by Start Network and CDAC Network is the first of its kind by humanitarian non-governmental organisations (NGOs), as the labs will facilitate locally-created innovations that are driven by client needs, making the labs more locally driven than many other investments into innovation in the sector. The £10 million programme, funded by UK Aid, will end in March 2019.
The growing food crisis in Kenya has prompted agencies to form a working group to coordinate and identify opportunities for communicating with affected communities.
During humanitarian crises people have an urgent need for information. From earthquakes to armed conflicts, affected communities need to know the answers to a number of questions: Is it safe to go home? What is the extent of the damage? Where can I get clean water and food?
Information and communication is vital and can be life-saving to communities affected by crisis. “Poor information flow is undoubtedly the biggest source of dissatisfaction, anger and frustration among affected people” was one of the conclusions of a report on the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004.
This case study was produced for the CDAC Network Media and Tech Fair held in London - 22 March 2012
For ActionAid, the concept of communication with disaster affected communities links closely with its human rights based approach. ActionAid sees the purpose of this work as:
Saving lives and reducing suffering - Increasing its accountability to rights-holders (the people it works with)