On behalf of all connected with The Communication Initiative network, we wish to express our support for and solidarity with the people of Haiti as they struggle to overcome this massive disaster.
We have received some requests, and need your help. We also want to provide some connections for people and organisations hoping to relate to organisations in Haiti - when communications become possible. Plus, we all know from times like this that spaces to communicate, debate, and struggle with the meaning and implications of are vitally important. We have created these spaces through The CI and include links to these spaces here below.
Now is, of course, a time for action and connection. But there will come an appropriate moment when we can all reflect on the broader lessons from this tragedy.
How it is not earthquakes that kill, but buildings. The quality of domestic, commercial, and government buildings is directly related to poverty. Though the international community seems to have responded very promptly and at scale to the disaster, are those of us in that community also culpable here - due to the complete inability to address, at scale, issues of poverty?
How we will all need to ensure that it is the people of Haiti who drive and control the re-building of their country. Yep, we will all need to help as much as we can, but effective reconstruction will need to be debated, discussed, critically reviewed, and driven by Haitians. There will be an enormous temptation after such a fundamental, huge disaster and such massive international engagement, to continue making Haiti an international project. It is not and should not be. It is the Haitian people's country. Our role is to support them.
How we may all need to even more effectively communicate public-level and agency-level strategies and knowledge about risk management and disaster prevention and preparedness - where communication is crucial. The most recent issue of the Son de Tambora focused on an initiative led by the IFRC - "The Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction (Alianza Global para la Reducción del Riesgo de Desastres)" (in Spanish) - is part of that process.
But those are questions for the future.
What can we contribute now?
1. We have had a request for any disaster management communication and media guidelines or support materials in Creole or French. If you have them please send us links or PDFs - anything.
2. If you wish to review, for possible use by your organisation, existing disaster management communication and media materials in Spanish and English please see the featured materials on these pages:
Global Home Page (English)
América Latina (Spanish)
3. If you wish to try and directly relate to communication and media organisations in or related to Haiti with which you and your organisation identify, please review the below lists and links. Within the summaries included in the links below there will be contact information - though immediate communication is likely to be very difficult, of course.
- for example: Centro Gheskio - Haití
- for example: AlterPresse - Haiti
4. Spaces to Discuss and Debate
Under the most urgent and difficult of circumstances and huge duress, the local, national, and international development community is responding to the tragedy in Haiti. I am sure that many people have views and opinions related to this response. We have established three spaces for you to contribute and share those views and ideas.
We do this with full knowledge that some people - those with many of the most valid and insightful perspectives - doing the tough, up-front work in Haiti - work that many of us can barely imagine - will not be able to contribute. We establish these spaces so that others have the opportunity, in real time as these issues unfold, to reflect and consider.
Learning from these events is vitally important and we hope that you will contribute to that shared learning.
POLL and COMMENTS:
How would you rate the international development community's response to the tragedy in Haiti? Why? (Please add comments that explain your choice)
Description: A space for people involved in local, national and international development, including communication and media, to share thoughts on development in Haiti.
To Join, please go here, scroll down and click on "Join" next to the Haiti group. If you are not logged in you will need to do so - see top right. If you have not yet registered on the site you will need to do so - top right also.
Please use the comments facility on this blog (comments form is below) to share and debate your perspectives, views, and ideas.
Many thanks. This all feels somewhat inadequate in the face of such a huge disaster and challenge, but what will make the difference, we hope, is the complete tapestry of action; this is our very small part of that tapestry.
Thank you for engaging and much love and strength to all of our network friends in Haiti and those working on the response – as is said in my native NZ land, Kia Kaha e Kia Aroha (Much Strength and Much Love)!