In late May, the Communication with Disaster Affected Communities Network held its annual global forum in Nairobi. More than 160 participants from over 20 countries came together to discuss the challenges facing aid professionals in the context of the digital era and advent of new technologies. Specifically, the discussion centred around digital exclusion as an obstacle in the pursuit of communicating and engaging with disaster affected communities.
Africa’s Voices’ Director, Dr. Sharath Srinivasan attended the conference and summarised the findings from the first day, including the need to make explicit links between citizenship engagement, communication, technology and data to illuminate opportunities for change, while also being cautious not to overwhelm communities with overly ambitious technological initiatives.
The forum also highlighted innovative schemes aimed at rectifying these imbalances in decision-making and promoting local leadership, and Dr. Srinivasan presented the AVF approach of amplifying marginalised community voices to improve aid practices.