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Vicki Francis/Department for International Development;

Chapter 10.1 Communications, information, education

Introduction

Photo: Vicki Francis/Department for International Development;

Communicating with communities is central to disaster risk management, in order to share information about the hazards and risks that people face and the wide range of measures they can take to mitigate and prepare for potential disasters. Development and disaster professionals also need to know about the views and priorities of the people they are supporting and the risks those people are facing.

Communications, awareness raising and public education are also key to scaling up DRR from individual projects and programmes. Strategic, coordinated work to generate and communicate knowledge about DRR brings benefits to significant numbers of vulnerable people. Good communication also has an important role to play in public decision-making processes. Most DRR communications initiatives aim to promote behavioural change amongst communities and their organisations, but there are also opportunities to achieve social change by supporting community dialogue or collective action on issues of risk and vulnerability. Like participation, communication should aim to shift the balance of power towards communities by enabling people to investigate, define and explain their own problems.