In northeast Nigeria, humanitarian organizations are working to support some 1.9 million internally displaced people (IDPs) and the communities hosting them. But language is a challenge: in this linguistically diverse part of the world, people forced from their homes don’t always speak the same language as the people around them. International aid organizations may lack the skills to communicate with everyone in their own mother tongue. They often also lack information about the language and communication needs of affected people. Following an assessment in July 2017, TWB has deployed a crisis response team to support humanitarian organizations and other service providers to effectively communicate in a wider range of local languages. Check out our resources below helping communities affected by conflict and displacement access critical information and claim their rights in a language they understand.
In crises like the COVID-19 pandemic it is essential to communicate in language that is clear, accurate, and accessible. The following guides help responders communicate effectively about COVID-19.
Read the guidance in English.
Language Matters: Improving Accountability and Operational Effectiveness in northeast Nigeria
This brief for the High-Level Conference on the Lake Chad Region, held in Berlin, calls for language support to be considered in the funding of the response. Language barriers are a critical but neglected factor in responding to the needs of the more than 7.7 million people affected by the humanitarian emergency in northeast Nigeria.
Communications Dashboard: Internally Displaced People in northeast Nigeria
This dashboard is an interactive tool to help humanitarian organizations better plan their communication strategies and language support. This resource was developed by Translators without Borders, in cooperation with IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) team in Maiduguri.
Language barriers in the humanitarian response in northeastern Nigeria
This brief report summarizes key findings and proposes ways forward for operational agencies and their donors to improve communication with communities, and thereby aid effectiveness, through language support to humanitarian action.
Language profile of five IDP sites in Maiduguri
This report summarizes key findings from a study of comprehension levels among 951 internally displaced people (IDPs) and host community members at five sites in the Maiduguri area of Borno, northeastern Nigeria.
Learning about Understanding
How do you ensure everyone understands what services and support they are entitled to, if you don’t know what language they speak? In July 2017, TWB set out to answer that question, building on our experience of comprehension testing in Kenya, Bangladesh, and Greece. In collaboration with NGOs Oxfam and Girl Effect, we tested actual comprehension levels in English, Hausa, and Kanuri among IDPs and host community members in Borno State. Read more