Review Information Flows and National Coordination Systems

The communication pillar maintains continuous contact with both the national response mechanism and the systems at the district/local level for ongoing monitoring of the emergency response and feedback from the communities. This feedback loop allows the communication pillar to obtain up-to-date information about how activities are being perceived by the beneficiaries, to identify rumors and misconceptions early and to monitor changing needs of communities so as to adjust messages and interventions as necessary.

These feedback loops between the national and local levels can take different forms; however, the communication pillar should always play a pivotal role in coordinating the regular two-way communication process between the national response mechanism and the beneficiaries. The figure below provides a diagrammatic representation of this. 

Knowing and capitalizing on existing coordination systems from national to subnational levels is essential. Aligning with established mechanisms will not only facilitate the two-way communication process necessary for appropriate SBCC interventions, it will also increase the likelihood of the feedback loop between local and national systems to be sustained.

The diagrams that follow, taken from the Ebola virus emergency in West Africa in 2014/2015, are examples of how a communication subcommittee can fit in the overall emergency response, and how it can be coordinated to ensure regular communication and feedback between national and local levels. At the district and county level, the subcommittee operates through government offices. Consider using these as reference for different coordination models and to help you select the most appropriate model for your context.

An example of two-way information flow between communication subcommittee, the national response mechanism and local communities, using the example of a fictional country divided into three districts.


Examples of communication subcommittee’s relation with larger emergency response.

Guinea's Social Mobilization Pillar


Sierra Leone's Social Mobilization Pillar*
National Emergency Management System (Ebola)
SM Pillar

*Communication/Media pillar was separate from the social mobilization pillar.