Keyword: Communications

Communications


This icon and keyword combination represent Communications. The related sub-sections are listed below.


3.0

Summary of key actions

The following table summarises the key actions that should be taken in the first 72 hours following a sudden onset disaster, or following a recognised spike (as assessed by the member/country programme and/or IHART) in a slow onset disaster. A fuller description of each activity is included in the text below. The RASCI matrix sets out in detail the roles that individuals and departments across the organisation are expected to play, and where accountability lies for each activity. The key point to remember is that during disasters, it cannot be ‘business as usual’ – different ways of working and different priorities will be needed.

In case of red and orange alert level emergencies, the ActionAid standard operating procedure (SOP) expects members/country programmes to respond. However, in yellow alert level emergencies, members/country programmes are advised to respond. This section defines expectations of IHART in such circumstances.

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3.5

Communications in emergencies

The first 24-48 hours of any emergency are crucial for media, communications and fundraising purposes.

The NGO arena is a crowded one. ActionAid must be visible from the word GO at the local, national and international level (including in media) so our supporters, donors, potential new supporters, decision makers, the public, etc. can associate us with the disaster – knowing we are there on the ground responding to people’s immediate needs at the same time as protecting, promoting and fulfilling their rights.

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4.0

Summary of key actions

The following table summarises the key actions that should be taken in the first month. A fuller description of each activity is included in the text below. The RASCI matrix sets out in detail the roles that individuals and departments across the organisation are expected to play, and where accountability lies for each activity.

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4.1

Implementing disaster response

Conduct a detailed needs assessment

Who does this: member/country programme, with support from IHART

The purpose of a needs assessment is to gather detailed information about the disaster and the impact on the communities that ActionAid works with. The needs assessment is different to the rapid assessment conducted in the first 72 hours after the disaster. The needs assessment collects more detailed information on the impact of the disaster and the needs of the affected communities. This usually begins from week one of the crisis and should be completed four weeks after the crisis has begun. It will determine the scale and type of ActionAid’s response to the disaster and will directly inform the Emergency Response and Resilience Building Plan. The needs assessment is also essential for developing credible funding proposals to donors.

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4.4

Communications

Develop a communications plan

Who does this: member/country programme, with support from International Communications Team

The communications plan should set out how ActionAid will communicate with external stakeholders as part of the emergency response. This should take into consideration the different purposes of communications to support the ERRP – policy work, fundraising, communicating with disaster-affected communities etc. It should identify key targets for communications, the messages that need to be communicated and the channels that will be used to reach each group. International Communications are available to support the development of this plan (see contacts Annex 4). Remember that communicating with disaster-affected communities is an essential component – see above in the ‘continue implementing disaster response’ section for further details.

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5.0

Summary of key actions

The following table summarises the key actions that should be taken around six months after the disaster. A fuller description of each activity is included on the following pages.

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5.2

Implementing disaster response

Integrate ERRP into longer term programmes and strategies

Who does this: member/country programme, with support from IHART

Disasters are not one-off events, and ActionAid’s disaster response should contribute to building community resilience to future disasters. To do this, it is important that the disaster response is integrated into the member/country programme’s ongoing work.

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6.0

Emergency Preparedness Plans

National and LRP level preparedness plans

People living in poverty and exclusion are constantly vulnerable to disasters, and poverty reduction efforts are incomplete without reducing this vulnerability. All ActionAid members in countries vulnerable to disasters (countries assessed in IHART’s analysis as high risk in terms of likelihood and impact of natural disasters and/or conflict) are therefore expected to have disaster preparedness plans in place.

The purpose of a preparedness plan is to make sure that communities, partners and ActionAid can develop the necessary skills, resources, information, systems and structures to effectively prepare for disasters, to reduce their impact and respond more efficiently. It should guide the process of preparing for disasters and should also provide guidance on what the organisation will do when a disaster happens.

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7.1

Communication with disaster-affected communities

What is communication with disaster-affected communities?

When disasters strike, people need information as much as they need shelter, food, water and safety. By providing the right information, at the right time, from the right source, lives and livelihoods can be saved.

At the same time, if people have access to useful information during disasters they can make their own choices and decisions, and become more active participants in the process of their own recovery and claiming their rights. They can feed back, complain, voice their opinions and, in doing so, hold agencies like ActionAid – and other bodies like local and national government – to account.

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7.2

Case Study

SMS project in Isiolo, Kenya

Since May 2011, ActionAid has been partnering with a consortium called Infoasaid, the aim of this initiative was to:

  • Mainstream communications with disaster-affected communities in our emergency preparedness and response.

  • Strengthen the capacity and preparedness of ActionAid to respond to the information and communication needs of crisis-affected populations.

  • Provide rapid responses to select emergencies in partnership with ActionAid to inform and support their two-way communication with affected populations.

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