10. External information sharing
- Ensure that the host government is well informed about CARE’s programmes.
- Exchange information with peer agencies and HICs.
- Keep donors informed about the humanitarian situation and CARE’s response.
- Support programme reporting where requested.
- Ensure communities and local stakeholders are well informed about CARE and CARE’s programmes.
CARE should always ensure that the local government is well informed about CARE’s programmes. Often, host government agencies, in particular the local aid coordinating body, will request information about the scope of CARE’s programmes, sectors and locations of intervention, staff in-country, etc. The IMO should assist with the preparation of requested information.
All information submitted to government agencies should be cleared for accuracy and appropriateness by the Country Director.
It is critical that CARE exchanges information with other NGOs, UN agencies and donors so that CARE is well informed about other activities, and so that other agencies are informed about CARE’s response. Some reports, such as assessment reports, may need to be edited for external distribution.
The IMO should:
- Regularly review information on key websites, such as the Humanitarian Information Centre website;
- Submit summaries of CARE’s response activities to coordinating agencies such as OCHA and the HIC;
- Complete interagency coordination matrices wherever requested;
- Share public versions of CARE’s assessment reports whenever appropriate with peer agencies and the HIC;
- Ensure the IMO is on key email distribution lists for information sharing (for example, NGO coordination groups, UN agency and sector email lists, HIC);
- Where there is a HIC office established, collect key information resources made available to NGOs (for example, guidelines, briefing papers, maps)
Share the Gender in brief /rapid gender analysis as soon as possible.
CARE should always ensure donor agencies are well briefed about the humanitarian situation and CARE’s response. Senior programme staff may, from time to time, request the assistance of the IMO in preparing briefing papers or updates. Writing donor project reports is the responsibility of the programme department and project managers, not the IMO. The IMO may, however, occasionally be requested to assist with report writing.
It is important for CARE to share information with local communities and stakeholders. Sharing information helps enhance local understanding of CARE, and assists them to make their own plans about how to respond to their emergency. Confusion and tension are avoided when communities have had risks and complications explained to them, and when they understand CARE’s activities in response to the emergency.
Providing key information to affected communities also helps to build trust. Once trust is established, local communities become encouraged to participate with CARE.
10.4.1 Strategies to implement information sharing
Key strategies for putting transparency and information sharing into practice include:
- Prepare simple materials for sharing information with communities from the first days of an emergency;
- Identify different possible means of sharing information;
- Carry out a simple information needs-assessment with community members;
- Carry out a simple self-assessment of CARE’s own current capacities to manage and share information, and identify gaps and needs in knowledge, skills and attitudes (see Annex 42.10 Self-assessment tool draft);
- Consider the risks and sensitivities associated with information provision, especially in conflict contexts;
- Support project managers and field based staff to incorporate transparency and information provision into their daily work;
- Include communities as a key stakeholder or target audience;
- Monitor whether the right information is being effectively communicated to the right people.
10.4.2 Different options for communicating with communities
Some different options for communicating with communities include:
- Information boards set up in communities by CARE, or CARE uses already existing information boards;
- Flyers, posters and brochures;
- Media advertising through newspapers, TV, radio;
- Community meetings;
- Community representatives;
- Feedback, complaint and response mechanisms;
- Social media (facebook, twitter, etc).
See Annex 42.11 Information provision to affected communities for further detail.