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Improving communication between aid agencies and crisis-affected people: Lessons from the infoasaid project

Authors: Chapelier, C. & Shah, A.
Publication date: 2013

The growing recognition of the importance of communication in disaster response has prompted an upsurge in discussions, publications and initiatives aimed at better understanding the potential of broadcast media and new technologies to improve how agencies communicate with their beneficiaries and, ultimately, enhance the quality and accountability of humanitarian assistance.

This Network Paper reports on the work of one such initiative, infoasaid. Operated by two media development organisations, BBC Media Action and Internews, with funding from the UK Department for International Development (DFID), infoasaid was established in 2010 to improve the quality of humanitarian responses by maximising the amount of accurate and timely information available to humanitarian responders and crisis-affected populations through enhanced communication between them in an emergency.

The project, which came to a close in 2012, had two main objectives:

  1. To strengthen the capacity and preparedness of the humanitarian system to respond to the information and communication needs of crisis-affected populations.
  2. To partner with aid agencies to help inform and support their communication response in emergencies.

This Network Paper examines the strategies infoasaid adopted to achieve these objectives, outlining what was done, how it was done, what the challenges were and what was learnt from the perspective of the project and its partners.