Continuously Review Information
Continuous Monitoring of Data to Inform the Emergency Response
Once further needs assessment questions have been addressed, it is important to continuously monitor how the emergency is evolving and how the population is reacting to the outbreak and to response activities. This will allow for consistently appropriately tailored interventions and messages.
Making use of existing communication structures (discussed in Unit 1) and of community networks on the ground (see Unit 3), will allow for the regular monitoring and flow of information about behaviors, beliefs, attitudes and perceptions of the communities affected by the emergency. Below are some tips of how regular monitoring can occur to ensure that your communication response remains on target. As previously mentioned, involving communities from the early stages of your communication response can also increase their engagement and support for your activities.
Exercise: Identifying Further Research Needs
Worksheet 2.4 will help you identify if and what further research you may require to develop adequate communication interventions to respond to the emergency. It asks questions to help you identify further information needs that can be investigated through primary research. When completing the worksheet, consider the methodologies described in the table above to decide on the most appropriate approach to answer the remaining questions.
Tips for Continuous Monitoring of Data to Inform the Communication Response
Consider community surveillance applications. For example, an SMS-based system might allow community members to report and speak out on what is happening in their communities. It can be used to report observations, program activities and ideas about the issue being addressed, and it can be developed so that important information relating to the emergency and response activities is solicited from members of affected communities. Some examples include RapidPro, UReport, Geopoll, mHero and others.
Develop a reporting template for implementing partners to complete regularly. The template can identify any evolution of the emergency; how communities are responding; any response activities that have been conducted; the reach and community reactions; dominant behaviors and practices linked to the emergency; and any other relevant information that can guide response efforts.
Establish a system that allows regular information sharing between the communication pillar and the communities affected by the emergency. This can be done by setting up focal points and sub-committees at the community level. More information about these can be obtained in Unit 1 and Unit 3 of this I-Kit. Once the system is in place, ways in which information will be shared can be defined.
Agree on how and when information is shared. This can be done through face-to-face meetings, regular phone exchanges or email, if reliable connections exist. It is recommended to have a pre-defined schedule on when these information sharing sessions will take place to ensure that they occur as planned.