Communication leads to more appropriate response

Communication in aid

In Dahlia we believe that improving the quality of the response, both in terms of coordination and ensuring its relevance, requires stronger communication.

Strategic use of two-way communications leads to more effective humanitarian response and development. Communication in response that is field oriented, context specific and mainstreamed throughout humanitarian and development processes early on makes actions more relevant and appropriate.

Lack of information is disempowering. Affected populations need information as much as they need other forms of aid. They also need reliable mechanisms to convey their feelings, ideas, opinions, facts or grievances to aid actors. Development and humanitarian actors need to be better guided by the people they intend to serve. Despite efforts and improvements, communication from beneficiaries, accountability to them and empowerment of the vulnerable are still broadly insufficient.

So, how can we contribute to operationalising two-way communication in response?

Understand the barriers and opportunities for beneficiary involvement
Integrate two-way communication into the evaluation agenda

Dahlia’s approach:

In Dahlia we will be piloting and adapting an approach in different countries to better assess two-way communication at a system wide level. Efforts have focused on strengthening two-way communication and C4D at project level. Dahlia wants to learn from these efforts.

Our aim is to analyse aid architecture in specific crisis contexts and assess how two-way communication can be integrated in existing accountability mechanisms and decision-making frameworks.

We will try to understand the barriers and opportunities for beneficiary involvement and will propose options for integrating two-way communication throughout the process cycle at the early stages of the planning and response cycle.

We will also work on building practical solutions to integrate two-way communication into the evaluation agenda as an integral part of good practice benchmarks and knowledge cycles in aid efforts.