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C4D in Unusual Times

For everyone involved with community engagement during the pandemic, it has been a period of learning and adapting. But even outside of a pandemic context, many awareness raising practitioners regularly work with communities in challenging situations.  

Building trust with migrants in the Darien Forest 

In Central America, IOM’s Pale Verité campaign uses a C4D approach to engage with migrants in transit in the Darien Forest. With evolving needs and limited trust, practitioners designed and implemented the campaign to protect vulnerable migrants in one of the most difficult places in the region.  

Based on what they learned, their tips for other practitioners are: 

  1. Make sure all actions are designed following a thorough understanding of the audience, the context and the response.  
  1. Produce materials over time in order to be able to respond to changing needs. 
  1. Set regular validation and feedback sessions with the audience in order to adapt the campaign as circumstances change.  

Applying a participatory approach during the pandemic 

In West Africa, the Migrants as Messengers project was able to sustain a participatory approach during COVID-19. Despite government restrictions on movement around the region, a technical team in Dakar, Senegal, trained over 300 returned migrants on how to use smartphones to capture and share authentic migrant testimonies. 

Their tips for other practitioners facing similar challenges are: 

  1. It’s critical to know the capacities and limitations of the trainees prior to designing the trainings as there is less flexibility for adapting during online sessions. 
  1. Remote trainings, especially for trainees without experience of online meetings, need to be fun and creative to sustain engagement. 
  1. Regular feedback sessions with the trainees are important to guide the training schedule and content. 

An exchange for likeminded professionals

Whether you’re applying C4D in your everyday work and want to hear about different experiences, or you’re simply interested to learn more about the approach, the C4D Exchange is a great way to share and discuss the challenges and opportunities of a C4D methodology. View a recording of the latest C4D Exchange below (with English interpretation) and stay tuned for the next episode!