31-12-2005 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 860, by Yves Daccord
This article describes and analyses certain factors influencing the environment in which the ICRC works and communicates and the impact those changes have had on its communication activities.
The environment in which the ICRC works and communicates is constantly changing. The ICRC is also constantly seeking support that will allow it to gain access to victims, carry out its work, generate the diplomatic and financial backing needed for that work and ensure the safety of its delegates. The primary aim of communication is not merely to pass on messages from the organization effectively. It is just as necessary to understand the issues concerning the various audiences and how they perceive those issues as it is to inform them. The ICRC draws on a wide array of communication strategies and resources, depending on their complementarity and their potential impact, ranging from meetings with local armed groups to the use of mass communication tools. Communication is thus an integral part of the ICRC’s decision-making process, both at headquarters and in each context in the field.