KMET was last week represented at a lifeline communication training organized by BBC Media Action. This was a three day training that targeted aid workers, relief aid organizations, media practitioners and government/community leaders. The forum, which ran from 28th to 30th April 2014, trained participants on lifeline communications during disasters, i.e. handling communication issues to do with food, water, disease/healthcare and security to improve disaster response. KMET was represented by Deputy CEO and Programs Manager, Sam Owoko.
Incorporating practical work aided by real-life scenarios and dramatization, participants were trained on:
• How communication with disaster affected populations can help both communities and relief providers
• Information needs of populations at different stages of a crisis
• Designing communications activities
• Crafting and targeting messages
• The importance of consistent, accurate messaging
• The role of two-way communication: allowing people to voice their needs and share their experiences
• Channels and options for two-way communication
• Working with the media
• Coordinating with other relief organizations on communications with affected communities
• The importance of preparedness to communicate (e.g. writing it into the budgets, pre-allocating staff, building contacts and skills beforehand
The training was part of BBC Media Action’s ‘Preparation for Lifeline’ work, to improve the readiness of media and aid agencies to meet the communication needs of people affected by crises.
During the three day training, the need for critical information regarding missing family members, food aid, water and sanitation, security shelter and routine government update was emphasized as there usually is a communication breakdown during such times. Of importance, as noted, was the need to pass/Increase reach to practical and useful information that is also timely relevant and effective to affected communities and give them a platform to share feedback and concerns with duty bearers.
Other organisations represented at the training include: Red Cross Society of Kenya and World Vision International.
Article by: Joanne Rakwach