Communicating and engaging with crisis-affected people in humanitarian responses: a case study of the Red Cross Ebola response in Liberia

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Communicating and engaging with crisis-affected people in humanitarian responses: a case study of the Red Cross Ebola response in Liberia

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Publication 1-year master student thesis
Title Communicating and engaging with crisis-affected people in humanitarian responses: a case study of the Red Cross Ebola response in Liberia
Author(s) Lisa, Qvarfordt
Date 2016
English abstract
Changing the approach to communication and engagement with the local people in Liberia during the Ebola response turned out to be a key strategy in the Red Cross’ work. The Liberian Red Cross’ communication with the crisis-affected people changed significantly during the fight against the Ebola virus, from top-down information to a more dialogical communication approach. The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has caused more than 11 000 deaths since the outbreak in March 2014. The task of defeating the virus seemed overwhelming at times, but the outbreak finally stopped and all the three worst hit countries: Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia were declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization. Communication with and participation of the people the aid organizations target have been a central issue for discussion within the international community and development agencies for a long time. During the Ebola response it was clearly stated that communicating and engaging with the people living in the affected area was a core approach during and after the response. This thesis explores how one of the responding humanitarian organizations, The Red Cross, used communication with the crisis affected people in Liberia as a tool in their response to help stop and prevent the virus from spreading. The study is done as a case study. Main components of the case, and focus for the analysis, are semi-structured interviews with staff and volunteers from the Liberian Red Cross that worked with communication and operational activities during the Ebola response. Red Cross documents from the Ebola response, policy, planning, evaluation and training-documents, are also important part of the case.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Kultur och samhälle
Pages 58
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) communication for development
humanitarian response
communication with crisis-affected people
participatory communication
Liberia
The Red Cross
Ebola
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/20969 (link to this page)

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