Case Study: Task Force for Rebuilding the Nation (TAFREN)

The Challenge

The task was to keep all local & foreign stakeholders including the media regularly informed and updated on progress in all activities and sector of the post-tsunami reconstruction, while clarifying the role of TAFREN as a facilitator and the role of the line ministries and donors in the implementation of the reconstruction activities and remedying any mis- information. The task was also to engage directly with the tsunami victims, donors & implementing organizations in establishing two-way communications for executing TAFREN's facilitator role.

The Program

The programme of activities included regular media conferences with local and foreign media to provide progress updates and respond to questions. Media relations also involved arranging interviews with foreign media to get the story across overseas and responding to any misreporting. Regular updates were also provided in a variety of other ways using a revamped website, newsletter, advertorials, hoardings and TV programmes. A trilingual Helpline, with FAQ trained personnel and a channel to refer specific matters to TAFREN HQ, was established to respond to the queries and complaints of the tsunami victims and others who needed assistance in obtaining information in the reconstruction process.

A Media Monitoring service was established to monitor daily press reporting and assess the changes in the information flows with the impact of our activities. Stakeholder forums are also being implemented to maintain two-way communications with donors and others and enhance the facilitation and consultation process.

The Results

Media reporting has increasingly changed from negative reports to more balanced and informative ones with the media accessing and using our website and various information inputs in their reporting. The website has recorded an enhanced level of around 4,000 hits per day. Local and foreign media have responded positively to the various media opportunities provided. The Helpline too has helped to sort out matters for many tsunami-victims seeking to rebuild their homes and livelihoods. The programme is still new and ongoing.

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