03 October 2023
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9 communication tools for working with internally displaced persons


Communication is an important aspect of the social integration of IDPs into community life. To help with building it, U-LEAD held a series of events and engaged experts for clarification.

In order to build a dialogue with internally displaced persons and help them integrate into community life, the local self-government must identify the participants of communication as well as the communication tools available to them. Maksym Tkach, Head of the Regional Office of U-LEAD with Europe in the Donetsk oblast and a speaker at the event, told us about it.

According to him, on the part of the municipality, it can be an organisational infrastructure, such as a coordinating body, that is, a structural unit of the council, a specially created working group, etc. Alternatively, these can be advisory bodies operating under the local self-government, including public and youth ones, etc. NGOs or formal or informal IDP organisations can also participate in the communication process.

“For a better understanding of which communication tools to use, you have to determine whether the communication between the local council and IDPs can be one-way or two-way. It is important to build a two-way relationship with the IDPs,” said Tkach.

As he noted, one-way communication tools provide information to IDPs but usually lack feedback and encouragement to communicate. Such tools can include:

  1. a dedicated section on the website, a column in newspapers and newsletters;
  2. announcements and information notices on boards in places where IDPs can potentially gather;
  3. posts on Facebook (perhaps on a certain day, information will be posted exclusively for IDPs);
  4. creation of a special group for IDPs on Facebook;
  5. road maps, infographics with explanations about the possibilities available to IDPs in the municipality.

As for the two-way communication tools, these are:

  1. formal and informal meetings/gatherings;
  2. formal and informal groups in messengers (Telegram channels, Viber groups, etc.);
  3. holding events for IDPs (it is important to involve the population of the municipality in building new social ties);
  4. surveys (can be organised in the traditional way through questionnaires or through surveys on Facebook, messengers, etc.).

“It is important for municipalities to use two-way communication tools,” Maksym Tkach said with confidence. “After all, such a dialogue will facilitate a “normal” fulfilling life for each person in the municipality and help understand the real needs of IDPs. Here we are talking about the possibility of involving IDPs in solving local problems and municipal development, as well as about preventing the isolation of IDPs from the locals.”

While communication tools can help establish a dialogue with IDPs, local self-government bodies should work on solving their problems and involving them in the development of the territories, the speaker noted. In addition, they should be constantly proactive towards identifying IDP initiatives.

“Special care should be taken to establish comprehensive communication between local authorities, IDPs and the affected population, as these groups may miss out on the opportunity to receive humanitarian aid, fail to learn about evacuation in a timely manner, etc. We are talking, first and foremost, about the most vulnerable people with limited mobility or those with special needs, children and the elderly,” Maksym Tkach said at the end of his speech.

"Communication Tools for Working with Internally Displaced Persons" events are aimed at clarifying the main aspects of the social and cultural integration of internally displaced persons into community life and tools for their practical use, as well as at helping local self-government bodies to develop effective communication skills for working with IDPs.


komunikatsii social services


U-LEAD with Europe

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