Afghanistan - Key Findings from a Rapid Communication Needs Assessment (April 2020)

Date published
01 Apr 2020
Research, reports and studies
Comms, media & information, Working in conflict setting, Data, COVID-19, Epidemics & pandemics, Health, Protection, human rights & security

During the past decade, protracted conflict, natural disasters and drought have resulted in increasing humanitarian needs and large-scale population displacement in Afghanistan. REACH has been present in Afghanistan since 2016 focusing on filling information gaps faced by humanitarian actors on topics including displacement, hard to reach areas, and sector-specific and multi-sector assessments.

In March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO), established a short-term Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) Working Group specifically for the COVID-19 outbreak. The RCCE Working Group is Coordinated by WHO and co-coordinated by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). The purpose is: “to ensure individuals are equipped with the necessary information about COVID-19, including on what it is; how it is transmitted; and how individuals and households can play a role in undertaking preventive measures …” [COVID-19 Multi-Sector Humanitarian Country Plan: Afghanistan, 24 March 2020. p. 15]. Members of the working group include: Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief (ACBAR), Awaaz Afghanistan, BBC Media Action, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), International Organization for Migration (IOM), International Rescue Committee (IRC), NRC, Afghanistan National Protection Cluster, UNICEF, and WHO.

In partnership with the RCCE , REACH facilitated a nationwide evidence base on communities' information access, gaps, and needs, as well as their communication preferences and habits, relating to health and healthcare services specifically. This was primarily designed to support RCCE Working Group partners in their design of contextually appropriate and effective dissemination strategies regarding COVID-19. This document provides analysis for each question at the overall, regional, district, and location level.