Going to the Philippines

Philippines /  Tanauan / Typhoon Hayian / Extent of damage of super thyphoon in Tanauan, Leyte. / UNHCR/ R. Rocamora / November 2013

Damage after Typhoon Haiyan in Leyte. Photo: UNHCR, R. Rocamora

Plans change. Instead of staying in Washington DC for the next few months, I’m off to the Philippines to support the Shelter Cluster with communications and advocacy as part of the response to Typhoon Haiyan.

In addition to working with the media, I will also look at how we can better inform the affected population about what we are doing and why and when we are doing it. In addition I hope to implement some communication channels that will help affected people talk back to us and tell us how we can do a better job at supporting their recovery.

Since there are 113 mobile phones per 100 inhabitants in the Philippines and considering further that the Filipinos are among the most prolific users of text-messaging, I imagine that new technology in addition to traditional communication channels will play an important role and I’m really looking forward to connecting to my colleagues from CDAC to find out what can be done.