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Collective approaches to communication and community engagement in the Central African Republic

Research reports

Written by Veronique Barbelet

Hero image description: People displaced by conflict in the Central African Republic Image credit:EU/ECHO/Jean-Pierre Mustin Image license:CC BY-NC-ND

This report explores the design and implementation of collective approaches to communication and community engagement (CCE) in the Central African Republic (CAR) and examines how these can be implemented in a complex conflict-related humanitarian crisis. 

There have been increasing calls to improve accountability to affected people across humanitarian action. Coming out of the World Humanitarian Summit, the Grand Bargain’s workstream 6 – a participation revolution – seeks to integrate meaningful participation in practice. More recently, the sector has started to explore the added value of collective approaches to CCE. This aims to ensure more effective accountability that complements traditional agency- or sector-specific accountability efforts.

In January 2017, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in cooperation with the CDAC Secretariat (Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities), launched the Communication and Community Engagement Initiative (CCEI), a global initiative that aims to ‘organise a collective service to address the need for a more systematic and coordinated approach to communications and community engagement with affected people’.

This paper is part of a larger study, commissioned by UNICEF on behalf of the CCEI, that aims to identify solutions to address current bottlenecks and challenges to community engagement, as well as develop evidence of the added value and limitations of collective approaches. Through a number of case studies, the study aims to identify good practices that could be replicated in other contexts.