During the drought and famine that struck parts of the Horn of Africa in the first months of 2011, infoasaid and ActionAid launched an innovative communications project to support ActionAid’s emergency programmes in Isiolo, Kenya by improving communication with drought affected populations.
“We are illiterate and we realize that information is a powerful tool. Though we are still illiterate now, I can say we are far better than before because of the radio programme.” (Male livestock trader, Lafaley) “We really benefited as a community (from these phones). You cannot imagine how such a small thing has helped us. You know, we are marginalized as we do not have a chief or a councillor. SC is now our saviour.” (Women’s group, Meygag)
This report presents the findings of an infoasaid learning review conducted between 09 and 14 July 2012, which sought to examine the implementation and results of a 6-month infoasaid/World Vision Kenya (WVK) pilot accountability/communication project implemented in Taita Taveta County, Coast Province, Kenya from February - July 2012. It is hoped that the findings will enhance learning and support WVK to improve its communication with the drought-affected population of Taita Taveta and its on-going Protracted Relief and Rehabilitation Operation.
What will be different when the next disaster hits Haiti?
The 2010 earthquake in Haiti gave rise to several communications initiatives that helped the local population to deal with the catastrophe and seek assistance from aid agencies.
To find out how effective two-way communication could mitigate the impact of future disasters in this earthquake and hurricane-prone country, see infoasaid’s new Haiti Media and Telecoms Landscape Guide.
Chad - Government domination of air waves increases
In most developing countries the state media are losing ground to private sector competitors. Governments have allowed the establishment of private radio and TV stations, even though in some countries these are controlled by individuals close to the head of state.
But in Chad, the oil boom of the past decade has simply reinforced the government’s monopoly of nationwide radio and TV broadcasting.
Find out more about communications in Chad by reading infoasaid’s Chad Media and Telecoms Landscape Guide
Electronic newspapers thrive
In Mozambique Radio is still the most important channel of communication for giving people news and information in Mozambique. Rádio Moçambique, the state radio network, and the country’s 80 or more community radio stations are widely listened to – especially in rural areas. But Mozambique has also developed some innovative ways of producing and distributing independent newspapers.
In other countries, printed newspapers often produce online offshoots.
infoasaid is delighted to announce the launch of its e-learning course on communication with crisis-affected communities. The course, called “Communication is Aid”, aims to raise awareness and build basic skills on how to communicate effectively with crisis-affected communities and to build understanding on what needs to be done beforehand as emergency preparedness and then once an emergency has broken.
Community radio and mobiles connect Niger
The roads in Niger are poor and the distances are great, but the country’s 15 million people are easy to reach by mobiles and radio.
infoasaid’s Niger Media and Telecoms Landscape Guide helps aid agencies reach the country’s subsistence farmers and nomadic pastoralists as they brace for more acute food shortages in 2012.
Niger Media Revolution
Radio & mobile open up South Sudan
South Sudan remains threatened by conflict, displacement and severe food shortages.
But the rapid spread of FM radio stations and the roll-out of a nationwide mobile telephone network has made it easier for aid agencies to reach those who urgently need help in Africa’s newest country.
Infoasaid’s South Sudan Media and Telecoms Landscape Guide, maps the rapid development of local radio and mobile telecoms since the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005 paved the way for independence six years later.
In Yemen they watch satellite TV
Yemen faces an uncertain future following the departure of President Ali Abdullah Saleh after a wave of civic protest and violent rebellion against his authoritarian rule.
A humanitarian crisis looms as the government he left behind continues to face armed rebellion on several fronts.
Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East, its scarce water supplies are drying up fast and child malnutrition is rampant.
Given the volatile security situation, how can aid agencies reach the local population?
Infoasaid has helped Save the Children to improve its two-way communication with half a million drought-affected people in Northeast Kenya.
The project uses mobile telecommunications and community radio to establish new and faster channels of communication between the aid agency and remote rural communities.
It was launched in Wajir County, close to the Somali border, in the fourth quarter of 2011 and will run during the first six months of 2012.
Somalia has been without effective central government since 1991.
Since then this semi-arid country of nomadic pastoralists has been torn apart by conflict. It has also suffered repeatedly from drought and famine.
Two decades of chaos and conflict have wrecked the country‟s education and healthcare systems. There has been a massive outflow of refugees and economic migrants to neighbouring East African countries and the Arabian peninsula.
Zimbabwe is at risk of drought, chronic food shortages and conflict as it faces an uncertain political and economic future.
The country‟s once prosperous economy, based on agricultural and mineral exports has suffered a catastrophic decline since 2000.
This has led to falling living standards, soaring unemployment and massive emigration, mostly to neighbouring South Africa and Botswana.
Ethiopia is prone to devastating droughts and severe food shortages.
This country of 83 million people has a huge rural population dependent on subsistence farming.
It has suffered repeated famines. Over the past 50 years, these have often been by aggravated by conflict.
In October 2011, southern and eastern Ethiopia was once more in the grip of a prolonged drought that was also devastating Somalia and northern Kenya.
Guinea is one of the poorest and most rundown countries in West Africa.
But it should be rich. Guinea is the world‟s largest producer of bauxite.
This former French colony in West Africa also has large reserves of gold, diamonds and iron ore.
Guinea is a green and fertile country of 10 million people. It has good potential for agriculture. Yet it is heavily dependent on imports of its staple food rice.
Cote d’Ivoire was slowly returning to peace and normality in the second half of 2011 following eight years of simmering civil war.
According to UNHCR, more than 300,000 people were still internally displaced at the end of July 2011 as a result of the fighting which erupted after disputed presidential elections in 2010.
A further 200,000 Ivorians had fled abroad as refugees – mainly to Liberia and Ghana.
Nepal is a politically fragile country that is still feeling its way towards full democracy after a bitter civil war.
At the same time, this poor and mountainous country is dangerously exposed to earthquakes, floods and drought and outbreaks of infectious diseases.
A widely anticipated strong earthquake in the capital Kathmandu could cause more than 100,000 casualties and make more up to a million people homeless.
Nepal became a republic in 2008 after a 10-year civil war led to the abolition of its formerly powerful monarchy.
Pakistan suffers from political instability, the constant threat of war with its larger neighbour India and the overspill of conflict from Afghanistan.
This staunchly Islamic country of 184 million people is also prone to large-scale natural disasters, including earthquakes, floods and drought.
A strong earthquake struck northern Pakistan in 2005, killing more than 75,000 people.
It caused massive damage to buildings, roads and bridges and left three million homeless just as winter was setting in.
Afghanistan has been engulfed in conflict for more than 30 years.
A succession of civil wars and insurgencies have wrecked the country‟s infrastructure, stunted its development and caused massive human suffering.
Over 10,000 people were killed by fighting in 2010, according to the Afghan Interior Ministry.
The United Nations said 20 percent of Afghanistan's 398 districts were inaccessible to humanitarian workers in 2009 due to security concerns.