How effective is communication in the Rohingya refugee response?


This research report is an evaluation of a project supporting humanitarian and media agencies with how they communicate and engage with Rohingya people living in camps in Bangladesh. 

Publication date: September 2018

Authors: Nicola Bailey, Mahmuda Hoque, Katherine Michie, and Fuad Ur Rabbi


BBC Media Action, Internews and Translators without Borders have been working to improve access to information for Rohingya communities by supporting humanitarian and media agencies in their communication. The ‘Common Service for Community Engagement and Accountability’ has involved activities like creating audio visual content in Rohingya language, training interpreters, and ensuring community concerns are collated and brought to the attention of responding agencies.

This report shares findings from the evaluation of the first phase of this project.

A survey, conducted in July 2018, interviewed 750 people from the Rohingya community and 750 people from the host community (local Bangladeshi citizens) about how they access information, what they think of the information and how they communicate with aid providers. The survey tracked how perceived provision of information has changed since an initial information needs assessment, carried out by Internews, in October 2017. Key informant interviews were carried out with agency practitioners to understand how they are using the tools and services created as part of the common service.

The evaluation found that the Rohingya community feel substantially more informed in July 2018 than they did back in October, and that the feedback mechanisms in place are being used and are appreciated. The study also found evidence to suggest that humanitarian and media agencies are using the tools and services produced as part of the common service to help them communicate with the Rohingya and host community.