Please be aware that this is a past event.

When Cyclone Nargis hit Burma in May of this year, it was weeks before a valiant local effort was reinforced by a massive international response. But one lifesaving commodity was able to get through from the outset: information. Dedicated radio broadcasts helped many to survive in those first critical weeks, telling them how to purify water, treat minor ailments, identify serious medical problems and build basic shelters. It confirmed the power of information to save lives and the vital importance of communicating with affected populations in a successful response to a natural disaster.

The humanitarian community consistently fails to understand or meet the information needs of affected populations. Why is this? And what has to change? At this Humanitarian Practice Network meeting, the BBC World Service Trust will launch a new policy briefing that analyses the information needs of affected populations and shares examples of where these needs have been successfully addressed. Communication specialists from the BBC and Internews will explain how broadcast media have been used to provide emergency ‘lifeline’ information, and seasoned humanitarian agencies will outline how other ‘low tech’ communication solutions, such as bulletin boards and newsletters, have also played a critical part. The meeting will look at how such responses can be mainstreamed and built into the architecture of a humanitarian response.

Imogen Wall – Project Managers, BBC World Service Trust
Lisa Robinson – Project Managers, BBC World Service Trust
Mark Harvey – Director of Development, Internews Europe
Leigh Daynes – Head of Media and Public Affairs, British Red Cross
Koko Aung – Producer, BBC Burmese
TBC – DfID representative

James Darcy – Director of Humanitarian Programmes, ODI