From the Regional Agreement for Risk Management in Central America (CRGR) there is a need to include effective information and communication management in the planning agenda, in an era where technology changes rapidly and decision-making processes have been seen hampered by the lack or overload of information, in this sense the communicators have a very important role, since being part of an institution that works on risk management and emergency response, it is important to be familiar with the information management processes and be strengthened with communication processes in the different stages of the humanitarian cycle, both within its institution and outside of it; all in order to provide information that provides effectiveness to the operations where different actors are supposed to be coordinated.
Recognizing that the best information and communication management processes require intense preparation actions, from the Regional Agreement for Risk Management (CRGR) the workshop «Information Management and Communication in Emergency» was held from May 2 to 4 in the Republic of El Salvador.
This initiative was carried out within the framework of the project «Phase II: Strengthening of networks for disaster management at the local, national and regional levels in four countries of Central America» and was facilitated by the Information Unit of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations (OCHA)
The main objective of this workshop was to strengthen the management of information for different sectors and humanitarian actors in the Central American region, providing tools to the communicators of information and communication management for humanitarian action.
According to the head of the Information Services Unit OCHA ROLAC Rogerio Mobilia, information management and effective communication are increasingly in the center of attention in the humanitarian community that continues adopting new technologies and seeking synergies to align initiatives. There is a need for technical groups to focus specifically on information issues and trends.
«This workshop provides a space for learning and identifying priority actions for information management and effective communication» mentioned Rogerio Mobilia
While recognizing the differences that exist in each country according to its context, the workshop was aimed at simplifying and standardizing the information tools, products and protocols for the humanitarian community; as well as communication tools focused on emergencies.
The regional communications officer of the CRGR Zaira Catota said that as a network of networks of more than 125 civil society organizations in Central America it is recognized that information management and communication is essential for an effective response to an emergency during the first phases of the event or complex situations. It is always a challenge to adequately manage information and communication in these circumstances and, even more, when conditions become more chaotic with the disaster.
The communicators had tools that could be used so that their institutions guarantee the right of all people, communities and peoples to be able to create, consult, use and share information; and the knowledge to strengthen and increase their possibilities for development and their quality of life in a sustainable manner.
According to the Information Assistant OCHA El Salvador Indira Calderón «OCHA considers it important to give workshops like the one given last week, so that multidisciplinary groups learn the importance of efficient and coordinated teamwork, using principles agreed together, applying good management practices Information and communication teams can make better and more timely decisions based on evidence, and even more important than learning the technical subject, is understanding human relations issues and much content from OCHA workshops to their partners. Improve inter-agency relations for the benefit of the population it serves, Calderón said.
The topics on the agenda of the workshop were focused on information management mechanisms and communication incorporated into the International Humanitarian Architecture, going through basic concepts of the Humanitarian Principles, the Transformative Agenda, coordination mechanisms, financing mechanisms, coordinated evaluations multisectorial, elaboration of information and communication products.
Each theme was developed through the combination of theoretical presentations, group dynamics and practical exercises to generate discussions and contributions in group work, presentations in plenary, with an emphasis on generating recommendations and commitments.
At the end of the day of three days of learning about good information management practices in emergencies, participants had the opportunity to exercise what they learned in a simulation using a real case to consolidate the data and take action. Likewise, as the closing ceremony of the workshop, the presentation of diplomas was made.
The workshop counted with the active and reflective participation of the participants of the Citizen Convergence for Risk Management COCIGER of Guatemala, Permanent Table for Risk Management of El Salvador, National Table of Incidence for Risk Management of Honduras and the Table National Risk Management in Nicaragua. At the same time communicators from organizations that make up the humanitarian consortium (Oxfam, Lutheran World Federation, Action Aid and the Heinrich Böll Foundation) participated among other humanitarian actors invited as active participants of the Humanitarian Team of El Salvador and national media.