IOM’s Community Response Map Strengthens Communication with Communities in Afghanistan

Date Published: 
Tuesday, February 7, 2017

IOM has launched a Community Response Map (CRM) project in Afghanistan. The aims of CRM are to enhance project monitoring and to strengthen engagement with the communities that IOM serves.

The CRM is a tool and methodology developed by IOM to facilitate communication with communities in order to collect, analyze and visualize feedback. When IOM provides such services, the recipients can provide direct feedback through in-person surveys, SMS, phone calls or other channels. The responses are collected on a live online platform that IOM and its partners can use to instantly identify gaps and assess the efficacy of the assistance provided, modifying project interventions as needed.

“By using the CRM to better communicate with the communities in which we work, we are ensuring that our assistance truly meets the needs on the ground and can evolve as the situation changes,” said IOM Afghanistan Chief of Mission and Special Envoy Laurence Hart.

Designed to provide real-time feedback on assistance provided in remote locations, the CRM is highly flexible, and can be adapted and scaled to meet a variety of different needs. Inputs can be uploaded through a secure app for tablets and smartphones, with or without internet access. In addition to more efficient service delivery, the CRM strengthens accountability by opening two-way communication channels and ensuring that communities are fully informed about IOM’s activities.

The CRM is currently being piloted with IOM Afghanistan’s Cross-Border Return and Reintegration programme, which assists vulnerable undocumented Afghans returning from Pakistan and Iran. In 2016, IOM provided over 90,000 returning undocumented Afghans with assistance at the border, including food, medical care, basic household supplies and onward transportation. So far, 1,034 returnees have provided feedback through post-return monitoring.

The CRM is also being rolled out to strengthen community engagement and to monitor IOM’s natural disaster response and Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration programme.

The CRM will gauge the effectiveness of the assistance provided to returnees and measure the impact and sustainability of reintegration support over time. The feedback visualized on the CRM will also assess the current and future needs of returnees to better inform project interventions.

To facilitate this feedback and as a pilot activity, IOM staff have distributed 100 mobile phones to returnees at the Torkham border crossing between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Funding for the CRM in Afghanistan is provided by the Governments of Germany, Japan, Norway and Sweden. To learn more, visit https://afghanistan.communityresponsemap.org/. The platform will also be available in Pashto and Dari.

For further information, please contact Matthew Graydon at IOM Afghanistan, Email: mgraydon@iom.int, Tel. +93 729 229 129 or Amy Rhoades at IOM HQ, Email: arhoades@iom.int, Tel. +41 22 717 9948.