10.4 Sharing information with communities and other local stakeholders

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.

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.

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.