HOW EFFECTIVE IS COMMUNICATION IN THE ROHINGYA REFUGEE RESPONSE? An evaluation of the common service for community engagement and accountability

Date Published: September 30, 2018 Author: Nicola Bailey, Mahmuda Hoque, Katherine Michie, Fuad Ur Rabbi

BBC Media Action, Internews, and Translators without Borders are working to improve access to information for Rohingya communities through their “Common Service for Community Engagement and Accountability” (Common Service) initiative. The project has involved a range of activities, from creating and sharing audio visual content in the Rohingya language, to training interpreters, rumor-tracking in the camps, supporting agencies to set up feedback mechanisms, and ensure community needs and concerns are collated and brought to the attention of responding agencies. As the first phase of the project, funded by DFID and the IOM, comes to an end, the evaluation How effective is communication in Rohingya refugee response? An evaluation of the common service for community engagement and accountability shares key findings. 

…it was clear that the Rohingya community feel they have enough information on health, safety and security, but feel less confident about keeping their family safe in a cyclone.

A results-based approach to protection highlights the importance of a continuous, context- specific analysis centered around experiences of the affected population who are best placed to communicate specific threats affecting themselves and their community, who is vulnerable to these threats, and why. A common question we hear is “how can we meaningfully engage with affected populations?” Common Service activities and tools were used [JF1] to increase the two-way flow of information from affected populations to humanitarian actors.

…a quarter of Rohingya respondents had seen video content or animations designed to help people in the camps… practitioners reported that community health workers were downloading content on their mobile phones and using it to engage Rohingya community members and share important information with them

By using these types of tools and activities, important information came to light regarding the ongoing humanitarian response and what the affected community actually needed.

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Photo By: Dibyendu Deychoudhury is licensed under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license.

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Photo By: Rick Osentoski-Oz is licensed under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license.