As a community of communicators we aim to support communicators on the ground to aid their own local communities. We want to do this by providing as much support and connection as possible at this challenging time.
This is being done by mobilising the C4D Network of over 3,000 communicators to help each other. This includes experienced communication professionals volunteering – in order to share their skills and experience with local communicators who need it. This also includes being a place where local communicators can share with other communicators the emerging innovative and effective initiatives that they are doing in their own settings, to inspire others.
The communication response to Coronavirus (COVID-19) needs to be on all levels and in all places. On the global level international organisations and others are developing communication actions for responding in many different ways; creating awareness-raising programmes, developing materials for sharing with national partners and much more. [Please see the mapping of resources for more on these initiatives and resources].
On the national level governments are leading national awareness-raising and creating policy for responses such as national lockdowns. Using state broadcasters and other routes mass media awareness-raising is being operationalised urgently. However, in some countries with fragile governance this level may not be happening as much as it is needed.
On the local level non-governmental organisations and community organisations of all types are responding as best they can, within the boundaries of lockdown and practicing social distancing. But through technology urgent communication organising is happening and local communicators are serving their communities with awareness-raising information, as well as with community mobilising communication – to promote and support mutual aid to the vulnerable and maintain and build community resilience.
This is the level that the Network is primarily serving. Communicating from the local base is vital in combating Coronavirus – as this is where people are now positioned; many isolated and afraid, and effective ‘social distanced’ community communication is urgently needed to back-up the national level awareness-raising and policy communications.
Aim: Our aim is to support communicators on the local level so that they can service their communities effectively in responding to the pandemic; particularly in underdeveloped countries, and contexts of poverty and displacement such as refugee camps. On the global and national level there is considerable activity in the development of messages and productions; however, on the local level this content production requires different processes that are based on local communicators knowledge and networks. On this level we aim to provide as much support as possible through the network effect.
Objectives: Our specific objectives are to 1) gather and develop relevant resources for communicators; 2) to network communicators so that they can collaborate and synergize efforts; 3) to provide a platform for communicators to share their COVID-19 response materials and strategies; 4) to support capacity building for communicators in the response through expert advice, mentoring, training and signposting to other learning resources; 5) and to develop a network of communication volunteers who are focused on aiding their communities, and communities around the world, to best respond to COVID-19; through communication for mutual aid initiatives, support for communication with and by the vulnerable, children and youth and other members of the community.
Outcomes: The outcomes we wish to see are a) good communication for communities that services their immediate and longer-term needs in the pandemic; b) the use of quality digital, print and broadcast materials – accessed, developed and disseminated – by communicators, despite lack of facilities and funds; c) increased capacity in COVID-19 communication for development response for communicators around the world, particularly on the local community level and amongst the marginalised.
Output 1: Resources – To gather and develop relevant resources for communicators.
- Gather resources for communicators, including signposting to trusted health information sources, to communication support organisations and portals, and to specific quality resources and guidance around COVID-19 response.
- Develop and update resources where gaps exist; primarily Guidance, and Mapping of available resources and materials.
- Gather and develop language materials and signposting resources (gathered through the Network with communication members in over 100 countries; initially in UN languages, but extending to what is needed based on network response and sharing.)
Output 2: Network – To network communicators so that they can collaborate and synergize efforts.
- Bring communicators together online – globally and in language and country groups and globally, as a community of practice; using the C4D Network platform of 3,000 communication focused members, with the existing facilities of connection and linkages.
- Facilitate online discussions and ‘open sessions’ for connection amongst the network of communicators, in English, Arabic and French initially; for communicators to share their own ‘on the ground’ experience, advice and needs; and for connecting with each other and building morale.
- Manage social media platforms that support the communicators’ networking; including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
- Support communicators in French, Arabic and Spanish with dedicated platform and networked support.
Output 3: Materials & Strategies – To provide a platform for communicators to share their COVID-19 response materials and strategies.
- Using the C4D Network and social media platforms facilitate the sharing of communication outputs by community radio, youth media, individual creatives and other communicators within communities; in order to inspire others and make available productions at no cost. Specifically, for awareness-raising, community mutual aid and mobilising, and content for social and behaviour change around hand washing, social distancing and adherence to protection and prevention policies.
- Facilitate sharing of communication strategies and ideas amongst communicators to provide the essential awareness-raising, mobilising and social norms change support, as well as media support and advocacy.
Output 4: Capacity Building – To support capacity building for communicators in the response through expert advice, mentoring, training and signposting to other learning resources.
- Provide capacity development resources for communicators in multiple languages; through signposting to available online learning opportunities and learning resources.
- To facilitate expert talks and input; through webinars and open network sessions using appropriate online facilities such as Zoom and Facebook live.
- Development of e-learning modules for COVID-19 communication response – in English, Arabic, French and Spanish; drawing on the C4D Network’s established C4D curriculum and training expertise and recent COVID-19 communication guidance.
Output 5: Communication Champions – To develop a network of communication volunteers who are focused on aiding their communities, and communities around the world, to best respond to COVID-19.
- Development and nurturing of the ‘Communication Champions’ volunteer network; through outreach, member coordination and ongoing contact.
- Development of the ‘peer support’ facility whereby volunteers can provide mentoring and other support for communicators from NGOs, CBOs, local government and other institutions in under-resourced communities.
- Creation of a Lead Team of volunteers who will lead teams to focus on support in specific languages, and around specific contexts and groups; particularly the vulnerable, children and youth, faith-based leaders, and displaced and impoverished communities.