Collective Service Documentation

Anthrologica, SSHAP

Information preparedness and community engagement for El Niño in the Eastern and Southern Africa Region


El Niño can be viewed as a multi-hazard event, and considerations for information needs cut across different populations and risks, including direct weather-related hazards, reduced
agricultural production, greater food insecurity and malnutrition, increased transmission of infectious diseases and effects on health care access. Long- and short-term hazard warning
communications may need to contain different calls to action, and there are likely to be different levels of urgency to those calls.

This key considerations brief describes the implications of El Niño in the East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR) for Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) initiatives, based on previous comparable weather events. Lessons learnt are predominantly taken from the literature on communicating forecast and weather information, but have implications for multi-hazard RCCE response. Some lessons learnt are also taken from beyond East and Southern Africa, but considered within the anticipated El Niño effects in ESAR specifically.

The first section of the brief is on information needs, the second section is on ensuring and building trust in information, and the final section is on communications and community engagement strategies. The brief was commissioned by the Collective Service as a resource for organisations working on RCCE related to El Niño in ESAR.

Additional languages





Hana Rohan, Anthrologica


El niño event


Portuguese, Spanish, French, English


Community feedback, SSHAP, El Niño event, Information, social science research, Community engagement, risk communication, Disease outbreaks, Emergency response, Social Science Tools, Data collection