Information was pouring out post-Feb 22‘We tried everything'Civil defence info translated into community languages The 'CALD sector' - networks in placeAction- creative, quick responses
Plain English not always usedInformation not always getting to the people who needed it Community languages not always used Translated information not reaching best distribution points Interpreters not being used well nor consistently, of at all
'Communication with, and Information to, CALD communities' KEY ISSUE And logos of CLING Initial responses Collaborative work Supporting whatever, however Action/response/dynamic/ever-changing environment
AdvocacyHuman Rights Framework – NZD action Programme and Race Relations Commissioner Best Practice Tools Action research
Talk about brochures and link to broader work of engagement, and how we were looking for best practice principles and contacted Sarah W to do some action research on communication and engagement.
Nicki and I are going to go over the main findings in this major document “Best Practise Guidelines”
Shirley:Explain the photo’s context
Research Aims:The research was intended to develop ‘best practice guidelines’ for both local and central government agencies and linguistically diverse groups that would help guide the process of communication and engagement:During a civil defence disaster, During the rebuild/recovery phase, They were expected to be simple, practical ‘tips’ that are readily acted upon, in a form that suits the rebuild agencies.The research sought guidance on what these should look like and on the engagement needs of specific CALD communities. The research drew together research literature concerning effective communication with CALD communities, especially during and following disaster, along with the government agency feedback provided to HRC. These findings were considered along with input from Statutory agencies, NGOs and CALD community leaders and groups.
A number of the CALD community representatives interviewed as part of the present research were quick to offer praise to local and central government for the response which occurred and which continues to occur since the Christchurch earthquakes. A wide range of positive things occurred which helped government and non-government agencies communicate with CALD communities and vice versa. Some of these were the result of planning, or a conscious effort to engage with CALD communities. Others were the result of decisions made on the spot, or providence. Good feedback was provided about the ethnic community meetings which were established immediately following the February earthquake and an associated e-mail list connected a large number of community leaders with key information. Interagency networks already established pre-quake Bilingual workers – these were a key bridge between CALD communities and agencies, and especially with preliterate CALD community members. Ethnic advisor roles and the bringing in of extra staff who spoke the languages that were needed and had the relevant cultural knowledge were very valuable in terms of communication capacity. Interagency collaborations – the most noted example being the partnership approach taken by Chch Resettlement Services and Refugee Services Aotearoa New Zealand, developed following emergency planning by the two agencies. Working together, they strengthened their capacity and avoided duplication of effort. Liaison directly with community leaders by agency representatives was a great means of communicating. There were definitely shortcomings when it comes to communication and engaging with CALD communities.However everyone acknowledges that the scale of the disaster was enormous, personal impacts significant, and much of the response was designed on the spot by necessity. Good things will arise from the experience, and the learnings should be one of them. These learnings are a positive outcome of the earthquakes for Christchurch, but also for other communities in New Zealand and overseas.
Most critically the findings also highlight the enormous value of CALD – agency connectedness and of cultural competence.If there is one key message that came through in the research above all else it is this: If you want to communicate well with CALD communities following disaster, don’t wait until something really bad happens. Get to know them now – build a relationship with CALD communities based on mutual trust, respect and understanding. Those interviewed were asked about the CALD community-agency communication challenges they had faced following the quakes and in the rebuild, and tips for how this could be improved. Findings of the consultations undertaken aligned well with recommendations developed for communication with CALD communities elsewhere. They uphold the value of plain English in oral and written form, easy-to-read text, and the use of interpreters and translated resources.
For CALD communities, the key messages which emerged from the consultations related to disaster preparedness and capacity. Communities best able to deal with the earthquakes were those who had strong leadership in place; had undertaken some emergency planning, and who actively addressed civil defence preparedness. Some had strong networks already in place connecting them with key government agencies.
We also looked at Best Practice Guidelines for Statutory Agencies and their communication with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Communities in Times of DisasterKey messages in the guidelines were offered under the following headings:Improve cultural competency within your organisation before disaster strikes.This means: Train staff to use and promote the use of language interpreters (both face to face and telephone)Encourage and resource the use ofinterpretersFoster diversity within the staffing of the organisationRealistically resource effective communication with CALD communitiesDevelop CALD connections before disaster strikesPut effort into establishing networks with CALD communities before disaster strikes- don’t wait. Have CALD liaison roles in place before disaster, and utilise their knowledge. Recognise key CALD community gathering places and hubs as key recovery centres and resource them as such.
Statutory agencies need to coordinate the information which goes out to avoid overload, and keep messages simple. People can feel swamped by information overload and they only take in a low percentage of it when under stress, let alone if it is in another language Get information out in a timely manner, tailored to the needs of different communities. It’s not a one size fits all secnario. Work collaboratively with other agencies, both central and local government and support service agencies. Agencies with bilingual workers are in the best position to get key messages out to communities very quickly - work together to resource these agencies to do this.Make key refugee and migrant support NGOs known to government and aid agencies so they are included in decision making. In Chch we have a list of key organisations in the sector which is updated regularly. Show an example? Promote Civil Defence knowledge to CALD communities. Red Cross for example has been actively engaged in this, and now even our regional Civil Defence Emergency Management Group in Canterbury has a Community Resilience Coordinator for that purpose to help organisations across the community.
Getting community radio and ethnic media up and running following disaster should be a Civil Defence priority.When there is a disaster power can be disrupted for days and even weeks – so there is no TV or internet. Every major city in NZ has one or more (if you’re in Auckland and Wellington) community radio stations with multi-lingual presenters. If you don’t know where yours is check out acab.org.nz These not-for-profits can drop their regular schedules to help you get messages and information out in other languages.People are interested in what is happening down their street and around the corner. They need real specifics to help them get through.Know how to get in touch with the ethnic journalists or editors in your region.
Avoid over-reliance on web-based information. Have it available in hard copy also.Always ensure databases of CALD leaders / community members / service clients and contact details are kept updated, in hard copy, and at multiple locations to ensure accessibility of information following disaster.
Similarly, a set of succinct best practice guidelines were compiled for CALD communities. Again, they reiterate the importance of preparedness. So CALD communities need to: Be prepared for disasterConnect with the wider community Get to know people in key Government departments and the Council All these things will help CALD communities get the support they need following disaster. CALD communities will also feel more connected with the things that happen to rebuild the community after disaster.
There are some things that will help CALD communities let Government and support agencies know what they need following disaster. There are also ways those communities can support each other better at this time. Develop strong leadershipLeaders need to support their community and make sure others are doing this too. Leaders need to ask for help to grow in this role, and take part in opportunities available to learn to be more effective as a leader. Reach out to local communities and engage with themInvite neighbours of your meeting places to cultural celebrations and get to know the people who live near you. These connections are helpful when disaster occurs. Develop resiliency and preparednessGet the community prepared by talking about emergency planning and offering practical help to community members in preparing disaster kits. Consider having a civil defence role within the community – someone who can learn about disaster management and pass this information on to the community. This person can be a key contact alongside the community leader, supporting them in times of disaster.Promote people’s right to an interpreter when dealing with government agencies, and help CALD community members to be able to request this. Know who your vulnerable members are and have a plan in place to ensure they are supported Work in with Government agenciesLet agencies know what you expect so they can adjust the way they work with each community.Invite key agencies to base a worker at CALD community hubs.Let agencies know how they can best reach most of the members of their CALD community.Make sure your community’s information is included in CALD emergency databasesLet agencies know about the good things you are doing to communicate, connect with and support your own community following disaster. Eg. own language websites, phone trees.
Earthquake Response and Recovery Project has identified two broad human rights issues : access to information and access to justice.Identified as a Top 10 Race Relations Priority in the Race Relations Review of 2011The issue has been raised with the UN Human Rights Committee which is examining NZ’s compliance with International Convenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights this year.Emphasis on using the learning from this experience to produce best possibleguidelines which can be applied nationwideNot just to be used in the context of disaster but to model best practice in our organisations
CLINGCommunity Language Information Network GroupAn Inter-AgencyCOLLABORATION 1
ACTION RESEARCHResearch Aims:To develop ‘best practice guidelines’ for• local and central government agencies• linguistically diverse groupsto help guide the process of communicationand engagement• during a civil defence disaster• during the rebuild/recovery phase 14
Findings• Response to the earthquakes was less than perfect, but respondents praised statutory agencies for what did occur.• The learnings which have come out of the experience are a silver lining for all New Zealand and the world. 15
Findings (cont’d)Most critically, the research highlighted the enormousvalue of CALD – agency connectedness and of culturalcompetence.If you want to communicate well with CALDcommunities following disaster, don’t wait untilsomething really bad happens. Get to know them now– build a relationship with CALD communities based onmutual trust, respect and understanding. 16
Findings (cont’d)CALD communities responded best to theearthquakes when:• Strong leadership was in place• They had previously undertaken emergency planning and civil defence awareness• They had strong networks in place with key government agencies 17
Best Practice – Statutory Agencies• Improve cultural competency within your organisation and develop CALD connections before disaster strikes.• Have CALD liaison roles in place before disaster, and utilise their knowledge.• Recognise key CALD community gathering places and hubs as key recovery centres and resource them as such. 18
Best Practice – Statutory Agencies• Coordinate the information which goes out to avoid overload, and keep messages simple.• Get information out in a timely manner, tailored to the needs of different communities.• Work collaboratively with other agencies, both central and local government and support service agencies.• Promote Civil Defence knowledge to CALD communities. 19
Best Practice – Statutory Agencies• Getting regional, community radio and ethnic media up and running following a disaster should be a Civil Defence priority.• Additional funding to support CALD media. 20
Best Practice – Statutory Agencies• Avoid over-reliance on web-based information. Have it available in hard copy also.• Always ensure databases of CALD leaders/community members/service clients and contact details are kept updated, in hard copy, and at multiple locations to ensure accessibility of information following disaster. 21
Best Practice – CALD communities First aid photo• Be prepared for disaster here• Connect with the wider community• Get to know people in key Government departments and the Council 22
Best Practice – CALD communities• Develop strong leadership• Reach out to local communities and engage with them• Develop resiliency and preparedness• Know who your vulnerable members are and have a plan in place to ensure they are supported• Work in with Government and NGO agencies 23
CLING – next stepsEncourage adoption of these guidelines across NZregardless of the situation - disaster or notContinue work with local agencies to ensure bestpractice during the rebuild of Christchurch/CanterburySupport agencies to take responsibility for buildingtheir capacity around best practiceCelebrate where organisations are working to bestpractice 24
Human Rights• Access to information and access to justice• Monitoring and reporting• Produce best possible guidelines which can be applied nationwide• Illustrate best practice – living in a multicultural society 25