Sunday, August 21, 2011

Communication IS Aid

I recently joined the Humanitarian Information Group in LinkedIn. There are many inspiring posts on how communications become the important part of a humanitarian mission. One post that caught my immediate attention was a link to Infoasaid*'s video titled Communication is Aid.

While many people still associate communication in humanitarian mission with press release, news coverage, lessons-learned documentary, collection of photograph, website management and reports, there is a deeper surface of communication that makes communication itself the significant aid to any humanitarian crises. Communication is not just a complimentary part of the operations. It is the core of the humanitarian operations. Humanitarian communication players need to advocate the important roles of communications to all stakeholders in any humanitarian organizations. Below is "Communication is Aid", a video that comprehensively explains how communication plays its parts in humanitarian actions.

Below is the transcript of the video:
It's talking to a neighbour, is emailing friends, is catching up with the news. We all depend on giving and receiving information to share our experiences and feelings, share our lives and join us to our communities, in the eyes of a crisis, whether it's natural or man-made.

Communication networks that support every communities can shatter along with resources and lives. And when all we've relied on is turning upside down, we need information more than ever. It's as crucial as food, water, shelter, and medicine
Where can we go for help?
What danger should be we be aware of?
How can we find our missing families and friends, and who will listen to our concerns and give us the advice we need?

Insufficient or even conflicting information can cause confusion and worsen the feelings of isolation. And if we don't know and trust the resources, even the most vital messages can miss their marks.

Lives can be saved with accurate, timely and well-targeted information. When our voices are heard and we know what to expect, we can start to make our decisions and get back in control of our lives. And once we can build a familiar communication networks and reconnect with the wider world,the process of recovery can really accelerate.

The right information at the right time through the right channels can save families, livelihood, and lives. It can give back their futures
Communication is Aid.

Infoasaid is a consortium of Internews and the BBC World Service Trust. The objective is to improve how aid agencies communicate with disaster-affected communities - the focus is on providing humanitarian information. The emphasis is on the need to deliver information, as aid itself, through the most appropriate channels.

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