Trust Crisis: Misinformation in Humanitarian Settings

2:30 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

In crises, people have many needs – food, water, shelter, safety and more. But people also need information: information to help them meet those basic needs, information that helps them make decisions about their lives, and information that helps them to protect themselves. The Covid-19 pandemic brought renewed attention to the dangers and impacts of harmful information, or misinformation, and pushed humanitarian responders to question what their role was in response. At Internews, we discovered that trust is both the root of the problem and the solution.
USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance and Internews invite you to an event showcasing innovative approaches to the challenge of misinformation in humanitarian crises based on lessons from over 15 countries in Internews’ BHA-funded project, Rooted in Trust.
Since 2020, the Rooted in Trust project has aimed to address health related misinformation in 15 humanitarian contexts globally. In all these cases, the challenge presented was not just access to good quality information, but access to good quality information that you trust, believe and can act upon. We invested in listening to communities as a starting point: in listening to needs, preferences, questions and concerns. By listening to understand why particular rumors might be circulating, we make steps to better understand how and when to deliver information to support community action. Accuracy is one important aspect, but an over-emphasis on merely replacing false with facts can miss the importance of trust in enabling a healthier information environment.
Internews will bring together speakers to share experiences from different thematic areas and geographies, each with contributions to our overall understanding of the role of trust in addressing misinformation in humanitarian action. From the height of Covid-19 to a sudden outbreak of violence, investing in trust with communities as a path to supporting timely, safe, and trusted accessible information is a core component of a principled humanitarian response.
Opening Remarks by Eunice Wavomba, Sr. Humanitarian Assistance Officer, USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance and Jeanne Bourgault, President & CEO, Internews
  • Jean-Claude Louis, Panos Country Director, Haiti. Jean-Claude will speak about the role of media in health misinformation management in the current crisis context in Haiti.
  • Asia Kambal, Project Manager Rooted in Trust, Sudan. Asia will speak about using social media monitoring to track community needs, concerns and rumors in the face of a dramatic outbreak of conflict in Sudan.
  • Dr. Michael Tamiru, Project Manager Rooted in Trust, South Sudan. Dr Mike will speak about working in health experts in complex humanitarian contexts.
  • Moussa Diallo, president of ONG AMSODE in Mali. Moussa will speak about community engagement and accountability in a health response in Mali.

The event will take place August 15th, 2:30 – 4:00 pm EST and will be followed by a reception.

Open Gov Hub, 1100 13th Street NW, Suite 800, Washington, DC