Get Lifesaving Information to Rohingya Refugees

by Internews Vetted since 2009 Top Ranked Effective Nonprofit
Get Lifesaving Information to Rohingya Refugees
Get Lifesaving Information to Rohingya Refugees
Get Lifesaving Information to Rohingya Refugees
Get Lifesaving Information to Rohingya Refugees
Get Lifesaving Information to Rohingya Refugees
Get Lifesaving Information to Rohingya Refugees
Get Lifesaving Information to Rohingya Refugees
Get Lifesaving Information to Rohingya Refugees

Although winter in Bangladesh is warm during the day, the nights can become chilly and Rohingya refugees' needs are changing with the seasons. With the cooler temperatures, refugees have expressed a need for warmer clothes and more blankets. Additionally, there is a need for fuel to both keep warm and to cook. A recent issue of What Matters found that cooking materials: pots and pans, dishes, and fuel are the top concern among the refugee community.

The What Matters newsletters continue to be produced biweekly, sharing the concerns of Rohingya refugees with humanitarian agencies to ensure that aid is responsive to the community's evolving needs. The 

You can read the latest What Matters editions in this program update.

Thank you again for all of your support for this work over the last year--we wouldn't be able to continue supporting the information needs of Rohingya refugees without it!

a community listening group in Cox
a community listening group in Cox's Bazar

Our team in Cox’s Bazar reached a milestone by airing its 20th episode of the weekly radio and podcast show, Shantir Lai Kotha Koi (Talking Peace). The program brings together members of the Bangladeshi and Rohingya communities to discuss shared issues. Their 20th episode focused on food security during monsoons. In addition to airing on local radio, community listening groups are able to gather in the refugee camp to hear it as a downloaded podcast—ensuring that it reaches people who may not have access to the radio or missed its original airing.

New Survey Shows Improved Access to Information

Last October, the Internews team conducted an Information Needs Assessment in Cox’s Bazar that found only 23% of respondents felt they had enough information to make good decisions for themselves and their families. In July, in partnership with Internews and Translators without Borders, BBC Media Action conducted a new survey and found that 84% of respondents now feel they have enough information to make decisions. 75% of respondents also replied that it is easier to access information in the past six months. The full survey results and report from July are linked below.

Flying News Bulletin 2

Flying News bulletins track and dispel rumors in and around Cox’s Bazar. The July issue is available to read online in English, Bangla, and Burmese. Since Rohingya is a mostly oral language, the information is also shared through an audio program called Bala-Bura, which is shared with listening groups in the refugee community. The July issue discussed food safety and rations, human trafficking, and extortion. To read more click on the link below.


Over the past few months, Internews' work in and around Cox's Bazar with Rohingya refugees has continued to grow and evolve to meet needs on the ground. We've been able to build out three programs to share critical information, address rumors, and diffuse tensions between refugee and host communities.


Flying News: Rumor Tracking Bulletins

The Flying News Rumor Tracking bulletin captures rumors and perceptions of Rohingya Refugees to eliminate information gaps between the humanitatian agencies and refugees. They are published in Banlga and English and you can read the June edition, along with more information about how they are developed, at the link below.


Bala Bura Narrowcast Audio Program

There are now 20 Rohingya Community Correspondents, half of whom are women, working together to produce a localized audio program called Bala Bura, which means, Good-Bad, as in How are things--good or bad? To reach as many people as possible, the team walks around the camp and sets up speakers to play the program in public places. You can read a full article and see photos of the correspondents in action, at the link below. 


Shantir Lai Kotha Koi: Talking Peace

In addition to Bala Bura, another team of 12 correspondents, half Bangladeshi and half Rohingya, are working together to produce a program broadcast on Radio Naf to address critical local issues, rumors, and tensions that affect the host and refugee communities. a full article about the program is below as well. 


None of this would have been possible without the support of GlobalGiving and people like you, who believe in this work. Thank you!


Community Correspondent Trainings are Underway!
Community Correspondent Trainings are Underway!

Over the last few months the Rohingya Humanitarian Service team has been busy! Community Correspondents from the Rohingya population have been recruited, trained, and are working throughout the refugee camps and Cox's Bazar. As trusted members of their communities the correspondents are able to gather critical feedback on needs and concerns, dispell rumors, and share critical humanitarian informations and updates. 

Internews and its partners are broadcasting a radio program where people can also call in on two radio stations:

Radio Naf and Bangladesh Batar

Using feedback collected through the radio programs and the community correspondents, the first two issues of What Matters? a humanitarian feedback bulletin have been published in English and Bengali. They address concerns about the upcoming cyclone season and what that means in the refugee camps, as well as ongoing concerns regarding health, saefty, and sanitation. 

To make sure information is reaching the widest audience possible, we're now in the process of purchasing two TomToms (rickshaw scooters) and kitting them out with speakers to blast information around the camps and town. 

If you are interested in reading the two feedback bulletins, they are attached here in both languages. 


Thank you again for your support and belief in this work--it wouldn't be possible without you!


RHIS Infograpic
RHIS Infograpic

Following up on our initial report in August, Internews was able to conduct an expanded and more in-depth Information Ecosystem Assessment of the Rohingya refugee camps and surrounding areas of Cox's Bazar between October and November 2017. The expanded assessment explores information needs and communications channels, as well as trust networks and issues of language and literacy. It is intended as practical resource for assisting the humanitarian response and, ultimately, the affected communities. The full report is attached here, as well as the link if you would like to read it in your browser. 

From the report there were a number of key findings among the affected population surveyed:

  • 77% report they do not have enough information to make decisions for themselves and their family;
  • 62% report they are unable to speak with aid providers;
  • 73% are completely illiterate, in any language;
  • 85% list Rohingya as their primary language for communication;
  • 79% report they do not currently listen to any radio (although for a variety of reasons);
  • 81% report that they never use the Internet; and
  • 58% say they have access to mobile phones--although regular use is overwhelmingly restricted to making and receiving phone calls, and just 19% of those with access to mobile phones report that the handset is capable of internet access.

By using these findings, the Internews Humanitarian team is adapting its communication strategies to ensure that there is a flow of information to and from the affected communities. 

What now?

At this moment the team is in the process of recruiting Rohingya community correspondents, and bringing partners together into a common service project to strengthen the two-way communication channels between aid providers and the affected communities. The attached infographic on Feedback Analysis illustrates the Rohingya Humanitarian Information Service and how it works. 

As more develops over the following months we'll be sharing updates here. Thank you again for all of your support and belief in this work!



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Organization Information


Location: Washington, DC - USA
Project Leader:
Annessa Kaufman
Washington, DC United States
$882 raised of $20,000 goal
18 donations
$19,118 to go
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