Fighting Rumours with Data to Reduce Risk
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent
- Nathan Cooper (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rumors, misunderstandings and misconceptions can put communities at risk especially when a disaster occurs. Understanding communities’ concerns and beliefs both before a disaster occurs and during a response, can help reduce risks and losses, especially if community misconceptions can be quickly and efficiently addressed. IFRC and the Centre for Humanitarian Data have collected, analysed and visualized data from rumors, perceptions and feedback during disasters to improve decisions related to DRR programmes and interventions. A unique and innovative dashboard was specifically created as part of the Ebola response in DRC to better understand issues brought up by communities and determine trends over periods of time (link to Platform and password can be provided upon request) . Following this successful pilot, this feedback system and dashboard is being adapted to apply to DRR programmes. During the Innovation Platform this community engagement and risk reduction tool will be showcased and applied as part of an interactive simulation.
DRR decisions and programmes can only be effective if they are influenced by community feedback and respond to communities preoccupations. Rumors and misconceptions can counter DRR initiatives if they are not properly understood and proactively addressed. Integrating feedback and rumor identification mechanisms in DRR work ensures DRR programming is more effective and accountable to vulnerable people. Such an approach is highly innovative and has been rarely addressed in a DRR context, so would be of great interest to Global Platform participants.