A Camp Management Agency’s role is to facilitate an information channel, to provide the necessary link between the camp residents and what is happening inside the camp and the various stakeholders outside the camp. These other actors may be the host community, service providers, protection agencies, national authorities or inter-camp coordination bodies, such as the Cluster/Sector Lead Agency or OCHA. The Camp Management Agency should have a command and an overview of information relating to and relevant to all concerned. It should use coordination forums to disseminate information transparently and responsibly, while being mindful of the need to ensure confidentially and security of information at all times.
The monitoring of assistance and protection programmes, and of the standards of living in the camp, allows the Camp Management Agency to identify gaps in provision, avoid duplication of activities and advocate for appropriate adapted or additional support. Sharing of relevant and accurate information about life in the camp is an essential component of coordinating with other partners in the camp to ensure that standards are maintained and the rights of the displaced upheld.
Information Management and Coordination
Meetings or joint planning sessions, where information is shared and decisions are made based on it, are the interface between information management and effective coordination, two of the core responsibilities of a Camp Management Agency.
Information management also entails providing timely and relevant information to the camp population, as well as to other stakeholders, about issues which impact their lives. Access to information is a vital need and the Camp Management Agency is accountable to the camp population to facilitate transparent and effective two-way communication, including feedback and follow-up systems. Information management involves giving camp residents information about the processes, activities and decisions made by others which impact their standard of living, rights and provision of services and assistance. Part of this accountability involves explaining to the camp population what information is being collected, for what purpose it is being used and what they can realistically expect as a result.
Best practice in information management further involves creating forums and mechanisms where the camp population is involved in and which allows them to contribute to information exchange. The Camp Management Agency must ensure that through participatory assessment methods, such as focus groups, interviews, meetings and complaints procedures, the views of the camp population are taken into account and their needs, expectations, feedback or questions considered.
Why Information Management is Important
Strong information management, implemented in support of coordination processes, will ensure that relevant actors are working with the same or complementary relevant, accurate and timely information and baseline data. Information management is a tool for advocacy and has an impact on programmes. Properly collected and managed data during emergencies can benefit early recovery and subsequent development and disaster preparedness activities.
☞ For more information on coordination, see Chapter 4, Coordination.