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Radio - A beacon of progress in today’s tech-led communication landscape

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International Organization for Migration (IOM)

17 Route des Morillons

1218 Grand-Saconnex

Geneva

Switzerland

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Join us on World Radio Day for a CDAC Network event: ‘Radio - A beacon of progress in today’s tech-led communication landscape’

To mark this year’s global World Radio Day, the Communicating with Disasters Affected Communities (CDAC) Network, invites you to an event in Geneva to explore radio’s vital role in disaster response efforts.

The event will comprise two sessions:

i) Evidence of the link between radio and the health of disaster-affected communities in the case of Typhoon Haiyan; and,

ii) Radio’s vital role in today’s situations of irregular migration and conflict.

Speakers will include representatives from First Response Radio, ICRC, International Media Support, Internews, IOM and other media-related organisations. Names of speakers and a World Radio Day article will be shared shortly - please check back here or on our website for updates.

Description: When crisis hits, radio serves as a lifeline, often the only source of news, information – and comfort – for survivors. In the Philippines during Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, disaster radio was the main channel for communicating vital public information messages, situation updates and health-related information. Following Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, all radio and TV stations were off the air in Tacloban City, the “Ground Zero” area of the disaster. Working closely with local actors, First Response Radio (FRR) was on the ground on Day 5 and operational on Day 6. FFR’s radio process and outcomes were the subject of a series of three studies by an independent researcher, Karin Hugelius (et al), as part of her PhD thesis over a three-year period, published by Örebro University in Sweden, with a focus on the link between radio and the health of disaster-affected communities. More than 400 survivors were interviewed. The findings will be presented by the author with a local perspective provided by FRR’s team leader from the Philippines. Although focused on a specific context, the research provides important, evidence-based insights and learning that will inform innovative ways of working with disaster radio to support and protect affected communities.

Radio continues to play a vital role in today’s migration and conflict situations. In West Africa, for example, IOM is using radio as part of a campaign to tackle the risks of irregular migration, especially among children, by explaining the dangers to those at risk from smugglers. The campaign uses multiple media, but IOM has found radio especially valuable, not least because it can amplify the voices of the most significant warning voices: those who have returned from migration themselves. Using the actual voices and stories of those who have fallen victim to smugglers, the campaign warns potential migrants of the risk and realities of leaving home. In on-going conflict situations, radio can play a vital advocacy role: challenging dogma, promoting peace and reminding all parties of their common humanity. In the often difficult working environment of Somalia, Radio Ergo hosted by International Media Support, broadcasts humanitarian issues and topics related to the everyday lives of Somalis. This makes it less a target for extremist groups and enables the radio to collect content from all parts of the country. A recent survey has noted that the radio is listened to by 70% of the Somalis. In the Central African Republic, a country with recurrent crises, the Fondation Hirondelle supports Radio Ndeke Luka (RNL), a mainstream, independent radio promoting dialogue, serving the public and considered the country’s media of reference. Further in Africa, the proven impact of radio work in supporting reconciliation and post conflict healing in Rwanda has been replicated in other countries like Sierra Leone. Among the organisations investing in the power of radio to promote peace, especially at community level, is UNESCO with their Communicating Peace initiative in areas of longstanding conflict, such as South Sudan and northern Uganda.

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International Organization for Migration (IOM)

17 Route des Morillons

1218 Grand-Saconnex

Geneva

Switzerland

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