Expert of the Week   for  27 Jul - 02 Aug 2015

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Prince Emeka Ogbonna

Executive Director

Brandz Media TV Expertise:  Media (documentary, promotional and social media), Communication Strategy and Information Management, Project Management, Training and DRR Economics.

A Media Expert with over 10 years of experience in developing communication strategies that has enabled DRR themes to be effectively communicated locally and internationally. He had led the creative team that created and executed the successful hosting of the world economic forum for Africa held in Nigeria in May 2014 and has represented content producers at the 5th African Regional platform for Disaster Risk Reduction where he made a call for a strategic alignment of DRR themes with the new emerging force of online and social media. He is an astute professional who had produced a documentary on “Oil pipeline breaks in Nigeria: A Disaster Risk Reduction approach”. The first attempt to fully document the effect of oil pipeline breaks in Nigeria and how he assisted the Government to use DRR strategies to reduce the effect of this disaster. These piece was included as a Hyogo Framework of Action success story and published on the UNISDR youtube and on ReliefWeb. He was among the media experts accredited to cover the 3rd United Nation’s world conference on Disaster Risk Reduction held in Sendai Japan 14th – 18th March 2015 where he also presented at the Ignite State of the conference published on the UNISDR youtube. He has a drive to use effective communication strategies to bring solutions related to socio-economic disaster and also considered an emerging thought leader in that sphere.

Building community resilience at the local level using risk information literacy.

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QQuestion by Mr Jonathan Fowler

I'd be interested in your perspective on how to ensure that gender is factored in to innovative awareness-raising. I've read of major disparities between male/female mobile phone possession, for example, which clearly has an impact on the effectiveness of using tech tools as a vector to raise awareness. Many thanks in advance.

Mr Jonathan Fowler Public Information Officer | UNISDR

APosted on 30 Jul 2015

Thank you Mr. Jonathan,

 I do appreciate your insight in innovative awareness. While mobile phone possession disparity exist in remote communities, experience has shown that community risk advocates can be more effective in  communicating gender-sensitive messages because they understand the communication style for a local mass audience.

 Tech tools such as mobile phones, internet, and social media are gradually gaining prominence in mass media communication. However, tech penetration cannot be an accurate measure to estimating the risk education of a local community. I usually advise that risk content and themes should be developed in consonance with the local risk belief of a community while delivering the risk message. Developing risk content for tech tools should involve the contributions of  local risk advocates to ensure that the views of a local community is conceptualized appropriately in the risk message. I also understand the possibility and place of leveraging on tech tools in risk information literacy programming which is establishing a platform that provides knowledge sharing in an online community for effective response collaboration among stakeholders and the local community.

Warm Regards.

QQuestion by Ms Hilary Ervin

Are there any examples of effective risk information literacy programming in the response to the Ebola Virus Outbreak in West Africa you have come across? Do you think that more effective risk communication strategies could have been developed in collaboration with local communities?

Ms Hilary Ervin Executive Director | Development Services International
United States of America

APosted on 30 Jul 2015

Thank you Ms Hilary,

I do appreciate the question. Firstly, The Nigerian Government responded swiftly to the Ebola Virus out break because a collaborative mechanism existed between stakeholders in the Health, National Emergency Management Agency and  a team of consultants that employed in part the risk information literacy programming. Hence,you would have realized that the Ebola virus penetration did not succeed through the borders in Nigeria with effective Quarantine and risk information theme penetration on Ebola even at the local communities. I reemphasize that proactive and preventive measures are the best ways to reducing such disasters.

More importantly, effective risk communication strategies could have been developed in collaboration with the local communities in combating the Ebola spread in West Africa by proactively developing the local community response capacity and strengthening the  communication channels that existed using community advocates to swiftly pass the risk information especially for local communities that had no radio or television coverage. Also governments and International partners should have developed effective systems that share risk information and collaborative mechanism while developing strategies that will sustain continuous risk education in local communities.