UNICEF Nepal’s Communication for Development (C4D) response in the immediate aftermath adopted a step-by-step approach, starting with media channels that were still functional, for the immediate dissemination of life-saving messages, collection of feedback on the needs and concerns of affected populations, and on-air psychosocial counseling (through call-in radio broadcasts), and then slowly moving on to direct outreach to communities through a variety of social and behaviour change communication (SBCC) strategies including mobile edutainment shows and face-to-face community mobilization by a youth-led organization.
These SBCC strategies played an important role not only in providing immediate access to life-saving information to affected populations but also in building resilience and in strengthening the accountability of government and the international community.
To further strengthen community resilience and accountability of Government and other bodies towards vulnerable populations during the recovery phase, the C4D section developed the capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs) in order to increase their knowledge and promote positive behaviour around the prevention of human trafficking, disaster risk reduction (DRR) and emergency preparedness. Capacity-building was also done around how to collect feedback from rights holders and gather data on knowledge, attitudes and behaviours.
Wherever possible and relevant, DRR and accountability components were entrenched in ongoing and new programmes. Detailed contingency and preparedness plans involving CSOs were drafted for different scenarios to expedite responses in case of emergencies. While the short-term and long-term C4D earthquake response followed a holistic approach, this case study primarily focuses on resilience-building and accountability mechanisms.