People impacted by crisis need information to make informed decisions about their lives, to access relief services, find safety and to decide their next move. Safe access to information is a right. People have a right to access locally relevant, reliable information in the language they prefer to use, via channels they trust. While information is a critical tool in an emergency, in many crisis situations, seeking and sharing information exposes people to risk. Misinformation can inspire dangerous health practices, encourage violence or fuel harmful prejudice towards vulnerable groups. Social media platforms may be insecure and vulnerable to malicious attacks. Even traditional information sharing methods such as a community notice board may be located in areas that are physically unsafe for some members of the community. Valuable information may be shared in a way that forces individuals to decide – is this information worth the risk?
Internews’ humanitarian programming aims to help responders understand and adapt to a local information ecosystem, responding to the information needs and preferences of the community and aligning programming accordingly. Our approach supports a dignified and efficient response by placing communities at the center of humanitarian decision-making.
About the Community Voices for Better Protection (CVBP) Project
The objective of the CVBP project is to better understand the online and offline risks communities in crisis face when seeking and sharing information. This learning will be used to develop accessible resources that enable responders to quickly assess the risks in their information environment and to ensure their communication and engagement activities do not contribute to increased risk for the communities they work with. Through this project, we aim to ensure humanitarian actors, Community Service Organizations and local media feel better equipped to understand and respond to the risks associated with information access in their context. This encourages safer access, creation, and exchange of information within the affected population and between the community and the humanitarian actors working to support them.
- Toolkit to support actors in understanding and mitigating the protection risks related to information access in their context. Tools are based on the pillars of the Protection Analytical Framework and will provide guidance on how to undertake a protection analysis of the information ecosystem that engages local media and affected communities.
- A question bank to support practical data collection in dedicated, or multi-purpose surveys and assessments
- Case studies from our experience testing the toolkit in three locations.
- A series of opportunities at the local, regional and global levels to introduce actors to the new tools and to support humanitarians and local media to adopt them in their contexts
At Internews, we believe everyone deserves trustworthy news and information to make informed decisions about their lives and hold power to account. The root of our strategy is to improve the health of information environments. Internews has played a pioneering role in the field of disaster, humanitarian, and risk communications, working closely with communities, local media, national and international disaster management agencies, community organizations and local responders to understand and strengthen their role in the information ecosystem during crises. We support information providers in 100 countries. From radio stations in refugee camps, to hyper-local news outlets, to community influencers and creators. We have helped our partners reach millions of people with quality, local information that saves lives, improves livelihoods, and holds institutions accountable.
For more information about the CVBP Project, contact Irene Scott, Humanitarian Director, at [email protected].