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The role of language for data-driven humanitarian action


2020 GeOng Forum
Roundtable: The role of language for data-driven humanitarian action
Tuesday 3 November 2020 | 16:00  - 17:30 CET
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Language diversity, long underrated in humanitarian contexts, is emerging as an essential component of effective community engagement. Links between vulnerability, accountability, and language are increasingly recognised. Yet, data on the languages affected people speak and understand is largely unavailable to organisations to inform communication strategies. Language barriers further hamper organisations’ ability to understand people’s needs, capacities, and concerns and respond accordingly. Without accessible and reliable data, organisations default to potentially unsafe assumptions that hinder the effectiveness and reach of community engagement efforts.

• What is the learning from evidence and practice to date on the impact of the language data gap?
• What tangible actions and new partnerships can fill this critical data gap?
• How can this be done in line with good data collection and processing measures?

With the aim of answering such questions, this session will bring together a diverse panel of organisations to share good practices developed and learning acquired on multilingual data collection and language data use. Drawing on experiences in a range of responses, including the COVID-19 response, they will explore the relevance of language for better data-driven humanitarian action. Following a round of presentations, participants will be invited to contribute with experiences and questions for an interactive conversation.

With the participation of Eric DeLuca from Translators without Borders, Nayana Das from IMPACT Initiatives, David Okutu from Mercy Corps Nigeria and Chloe Sydney from IDMC. This session will be facilitated by Mia Marzotto from Translators without Borders.

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