For years, DW Akademie has encouraged discussions on freedom of expression and information access for displaced people. These discussions have now been distilled into eight recommendations.
The number of people displaced within their country or across international borders is expected to exceed 100 million this year, according to UNHCR. The affected populations need food, shelter and many services typically provided by international organizations. Also, they need information and ways to make themselves heard, because local people know best the kinds of support most necessary.
To discuss issues of access to information and dialogue in displacement settings, DW Akademie brought together refugees, communication professionals and humanitarian experts – first at the live conference “Beyond the Crisis” in Bonn in 2019, then at the digital conference “Displacement and Dialogue” in 2020, and at a digital Barcamp in 2021.
Recommendations on communication
Many of the events’ presentations and discussions are reflected in the report “Let it be as local as possible. Dismantling information and communication hierarchies in displacement settings.” The author, humanitarian advocacy and communication expert Hannah Murphy, conducted an online survey and interviewed 15 practitioners from DW Akademie and other organizations.
The interviews showed that, while significant progress has been made in terms of communication in international development and humanitarian responses in the past decades, there is still room for improvement. Communication is still undervalued and underfunded, and too often it is seen simply as a means for messaging by international actors. The report makes eight recommendations on issues like participation, coordination and research, and highlights projects that successfully use media to support equitable communication and information-sharing.
DW Akademie supports the establishment of information services and feedback systems in refugee camps and fosters dialogue between displaced people and host communities.