OCHA ROAP delivers coordination and support services to humanitarian responders to improve community engagement with disaster affected communities. By improving communication with people affected by crises, humanitarian actors can better understand the needs of and are more accountable to the communities they work with.
In recent years, disaster affected communities, civil society and the private sector have begun to play a greater role in disaster response, a trend supported by increasing development in the region and a growth in access to information and communication technologies. Consequently, it has become critical that preparedness efforts adopt a more systematic approach to engaging these communities in planning their own responses.
OCHA, with its regional partners, is working to ensure that emergency response plans use an integrated approach to addressing engagement with and accountability to communities. This includes recognizing that information and communication-systems are a life-saving form of aid that enable individuals and communities to make decisions that protect their lives and livelihoods, access assistance more effectively, express their needs and develop their capacities on their own terms.
This requires identifying the different communication channels, perspectives and coping capacities of affected communities. In support of this, ROAP participates in a range of networks and integrates workstreams that focus on a range of cross-sectoral needs, operating modalities and partnerships.