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Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005


Information and Communication

A partnership for communication

Guidelines for the Commissions NGO partners on the implementation of visibility, information and communication activities relating to humanitarian aid





Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005

The fundamental task of the European Commissions Humanitarian Aid DirectorateGeneral is to finance humanitarian operations implemented by partners in crisis zones. In a media-oriented world, however, there is also a need proactively to communicate the concrete achievements of humanitarian actors as well as the values and principles that underpin their work. Good communication is all the more important given the challenge faced by the humanitarian aid community in preserving its space in many crisis zones. The need for effective communication is also linked to a number of specific factors: The obligation to be transparent. The Commissions Humanitarian Aid DirectorateGeneral (DG) manages public funds and has a duty to inform EU citizens about how the money is spent. Few EU citizens are aware that the Commission is one of the worlds largest humanitarian donors. Getting closer to the citizen. This is a Commission commitment that entails proactive communication efforts. Most Europeans support the idea of aiding the worlds most vulnerable people through relief assistance. They should be informed that this support is reflected in the humanitarian work of the Commission and its implementing partners. Underlining European solidarity. People living in countries affected by crises (victims, host populations and opinion leaders) should be aware of the EUs solidarity expressed in concrete terms through humanitarian aid. Messages such as the impartiality of aid, the fact that it is needs-based, and its non-discriminatory nature are particularly significant here. Highlighting a badge of quality: Given the stringent criteria for acceding to the Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA), partner organisations can benefit from publicising their quality relationship with the European Commission. The changing framework of the European Union (enlargement, a possible new Constitution, new Commission etc.) In a period of flux, it is important fully to inform EU decision-makers about the Commissions role in delivering effective assistance to victims of humanitarian crises.


The strategy, updated at the beginning of 2004, identifies the DGs information objectives, recognising that limited resources need to be used in a way that maximises their impact. The essential orientations may be summarised as follows:

Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005

(a) Targeting multipliers This is the basic principle underpinning the strategy. Target groups have been chosen primarily on the basis that they are likely to act as multipliers, passing on information about humanitarian issues and the Commissions work to wider audiences. Multipliers identified are as follows: EU decision-makers/opinion leaders (with a particular focus on new Member States where knowledge about humanitarian aid is very low) The media. TV, radio and print journalists are the most effective multipliers that exist. Given the intense competition for space in the media, the targeting should focus on outlets where stories featuring the Commissions humanitarian aid, and humanitarian messages, have a good chance of being featured. Humanitarians. This encompasses people with a specific and declared interest in humanitarian issues. Many people working for NGOs already know about the Commissions humanitarian aid (and therefore do not need to be targeted per se) but there are others who support humanitarian organisations and whose knowledge of European humanitarian aid is more limited. It is worth targeting them because they are likely to be receptive to Commission messages and to act as grassroots multipliers. Young people. The arguments here are similar to those that apply to humanitarians. Young people are receptive and good multipliers in talking about what they have learned with parents, relatives etc. They can also integrate the notion of solidarity in their approach to political, social and moral issues. The Youth Solidarity Day organised by the Commissions Humanitarian Aid DG and the European Parliament in January 2004, and involving 540 secondary school students from across the EU, clearly demonstrated the receptiveness of young Europeans when presented with humanitarian issues in an interesting way. (b) Delivering key messages Successful communication depends on the frequent repetition of clear messages. Succinct messages encapsulating the humanitarian principles that govern the DGs work have been identified for use across a range of information products and activities. European Commission helping the victims of humanitarian crises (the basic message). Humanitarian aid is an expression of European solidarity with the worlds most vulnerable people. The Commission offers humanitarian aid impartially to people in distress, irrespective of their race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, nationality or political affiliation. Humanitarian aid goes to those in greatest need. Humanitarian aid is governed by the key principles of humanity, impartiality and neutrality.

Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005

The European Commission is committed to preserving the dignity of populations affected by humanitarian crises. The Commission does not, of course, claim a monopoly over these messages, most of which reflect the basic values and principles of the wider humanitarian community. It is sensible to work in synergy with humanitarian partners to get these messages across. (c) Developing a wider information reflex Communicating about the Commissions humanitarian aid is not solely the task of the information staff working in its Humanitarian Aid department. The strategy aims to develop a wider information reflex in the DG. It also involves working more closely with partners, taking advantage of their well-developed communication resources and encouraging them to develop an information reflex as well in the context of their cooperation with the Commission. (d) Applying a cost benefit approach The choice of information tools (products and activities) must always be preceded by a cost benefit assessment, to ensure that resources are used effectively. Costs must include human resources deployed (and not merely the budgetary element) while benefits will be determined on the basis of the expected impact, both quantitative and qualitative.

The European Unions institutional evolution is reflected in nomenclature that can sometimes be confusing. Over the years we have had EEC, Common Market, European Communities, European Community (EC) and European Union (EU). The first three terms are now obsolete and while European Community continues to be legally correct (as seen in the provisions of the Framework Partnership Agreement), it should not be used in public information materials. The preferred terms are: European Commission: This can be shortened to Commission once the context is obvious. The term should always be used when referring to the work of the Commissions Humanitarian Aid Directorate-General. European Union: Reflecting the practice of most media organisations, the Commissions press department recommends the more general use of European Union and its acronym EU in non-technical communications. In the humanitarian area, this is acceptable so long as it does not create confusion (for example: it is not clear in the phrase the EUs humanitarian aid response whether this means the Commission only or the Commission plus Member States.) When referring to the Humanitarian Aid Directorate-General, the term Humanitarian Aid department (d in lower case) is preferred in non-technical texts targeting the public.

Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005


The Commission and its humanitarian partners responsible for implementing projects have a common interest in communicating key humanitarian messages and highlighting the fruits of their collaboration at operational level. The synergies that contribute to a successful humanitarian aid programme may also be relevant for a variety of information actions. The Humanitarian Aid DG recognises that the creativity of partners offers additional potential for displaying our common commitment to humanitarian principles and values, and thus to strengthen the image both of the Commission and of the organisations that implement Commission- funded humanitarian programmes. There are two broad categories of activity that the Commission and its humanitarian partners undertake on a collaborative basis: Visibility actions linked to projects under a humanitarian aid financing agreement. Additional information actions outside the framework of humanitarian aid financing agreements.



In the Framework Partnership Agreement, the essential provision relating to visibility/information is Article 5.2 which states: Signatory non-governmental humanitarian organisations commit to highlight the Community nature of the aid and to promote the understanding of humanitarian values, in particular in Europe and in third countries where the Community funds major humanitarian operations. More detailed rules are contained at Article 6 of the General Conditions applicable to European Community Grant Agreements with non-governmental organisations for humanitarian aid operations. The term visibility used here is interpreted broadly to include information and communication activities. (a) The general rule Under Article 6.1 of the General Conditions, The humanitarian organisation shall contribute to the visibility of the humanitarian operations financed by the European Community, provided that this does not harm the organisations mandate or the safety of its staff. This requirement should be viewed by partners as an opportunity to increase their own profile as well as giving due credit to the Commission as the donor, highlighting humanitarian needs, issues and responses.

Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005

Where the partner believes that visibility is undesirable, because it may harm the organisations mandate or the safety of its staff, this should be agreed in advance with the Humanitarian Aid DG. (b) Visibility actions (including information and communication) Article 6.2 of the General Conditions states During each operation, the humanitarian organisation shall endeavour to bring the support and financing given by the European Community to the attention of the beneficiaries, the general public and the media. In keeping with this objective, the organisation should present a visibility plan within the framework of the operation proposal. Evidence of implementation of activities undertaken in this article will be provided in the final narrative report. This is the key provision covering information and communication actions. It has a wide scope allowing a range of activities to be implemented, both in the field and, where appropriate, in the EU. Detailed guidelines covering different situations are provided at section C below. (c) Minimum requirements for basic visibility Articles 6.3, 6.4 and 6.5 of the General Conditions set out the minimum visibility rules involving the display of posters, stickers and the Commissions visual identity on documents, equipment, vehicles and materials used in operations financed by the Humanitarian Aid DG. Article 6.3 In cases where equipment or vehicles and major supplies have been purchased using funds provided by the Commission and provided that this does not harm the organisations mandate or the safety of its staff, the humanitarian organisation shall include appropriate acknowledgement on such vehicles, equipment and major supplies, including display of the European logo (twelve yellow stars on a blue background). Article 6.4 Communications or publications by the humanitarian organisation about the operation, including at a conference or seminar, shall indicate that the operation has received funding from the Community and shall display the European Union logo in an appropriate way. Publications by the humanitarian organisation pertaining to operations that have received funding from the Commission, in whatever form and whatever medium, including the Internet, shall carry the following or a similar disclaimer: "This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Community. The views expressed herein should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of the European Community. Article 6.5 Publicity pertaining to the European Community contributions shall quote these contributions in Euro, between brackets if necessary. The Organisations publications and reports prepared in response to, and in accordance with, its legislative directives are excluded from this provision.

Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005

In general, the visual identity of the Humanitarian Aid DG, which incorporates the European emblem, must therefore be prominently displayed on all items mentioned above (including, where feasible, containers, tents, sacks, plastic sheeting and individual packaging used for foodstuffs and other supplies), accompanied where appropriate by a specific acknowledgement of the Commission funding (see part A of the annex). This rule must always be followed if the Commission is financing 50% or more of the project other than where the exception at Article 6.1 has been invoked by the partner Where the Commissions contribution is less than 50% and other partners are also providing funding, visibility for the Commission should still be provided but it may be in a reduced form. In some cases, for example, where it is not feasible for all co-funders logos to be reproduced on a small visibility item, the requirement is waived. The requirement to display the European logo (6.3) should be met by using the Humanitarian Aid DGs visual identity. It must be used in its entirety without any alterations or additions. Local language versions prepared by the partner must be submitted to the DGs relevant field office for approval. The visual identity is available on the DGs website.

The reference to communications or publications at Article 6(4) includes information about Commission-funded humanitarian operations on partners websites. On the page or pages where this information is published, the acknowledgement of the Commissions support should include the DGs visual identity (or an appropriate part of the text) hyperlinked to one of the following DG web addresses: (English) (French)

Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005

(d) The Commissions right to publish basic information about partners and their Commission-funded humanitarian operations Under Article 6.6 of the General Conditions, The humanitarian organisation authorises the Commission to publish the following information in any form and medium, including via the Internet: - the humanitarian organisations name and official address; - the purpose of the grant agreement; - the amount granted and the proportion of the operations total cost covered by the funding. Upon a duly substantiated request by the Humanitarian Organisation, the European Commission may agree to forgo such publicity if disclosure of the above information would risk threatening the Organisations safety or harming its interests.


The Commission is keen to develop cooperation with partners in the information sphere, beyond the requirements of the FPA, where this is cost-effective and added value can be obtained. Such cooperation is possible both in Europe and in the field. (a) Actions where the partner is the lead actor and where an input from the Humanitarian Aid DG is requested Partners may approach the DG for an input to one of their information activities or products. Examples include requests for DG speakers at seminars/conferences, contributions to newsletters, magazines and websites. This happens less often than one might expect, however, and the DG encourages its partners to develop a Commission reflex when devising information activities. Grants are not available from the DG for information actions, except through humanitarian aid financing agreements where the action must be linked to the operational activities covered by the agreement. (b) Actions where the Humanitarian Aid DG is the lead actor and where a partners input is requested The DG may approach partners for an input to its information activities. Examples include the provision of specialised stands, activities or speakers for public events organised by the DG. Again, more could be done to develop this kind of action. Such inputs can be either informal (e.g. acceptance of an invitation to speak at an event) or contractual (e.g. the DG concludes a service contract with the partner to prepare, transport and display a stand at a conference).

Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005

Partners should be aware that in the latter case, Commission financial rules generally require a tender process. The DGs Information Unit (ECHO 7) has established an AMI List (from the French appel manifestation dintrt) of potential contractors for a range of information activities. NGOs are eligible for inclusion on this list and those that are interested should consult the following webpage for information on how to apply: (c) Support for partners information activities There is no procedure under the information budget managed by the Humanitarian Aid DGs Information Unit to mount joint actions with operational partners on the basis of matching funding. It is possible, however, for the DG to buy into partners information operations using service contracts, for example through the purchase of advertising in publications, or the hiring of space for a stand at a conference, thereby allowing activities to be presented in a collaborative way.

Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005


Partners should be aware that the visibility elements are integral to financing agreements. Performance in implementing the visibility plan and in meeting the basic visibility requirements set out in the General Conditions will therefore be evaluated in the same way as performance in delivering the operational components. As stated above, Article 6.2 of the General Conditions is the key provision requiring partners to draw up a visibility plan in the framework of operational proposals. This applies to all operations but the nature and scope of information activities will clearly vary depending on the kind of humanitarian action that is proposed.

The following minimum requirements apply to all operations. (1) A budget line specifically for visibility in the operational agreement. (2) Provision for basic visibility in accordance with article 6.3, 6.4 and 6.5 of the General Conditions other than where the exception at article 6.1 has been invoked. Normally, visibility materials should be produced under the budget line mentioned in the preceding point but in the case of sudden emergencies, the DG may be able to supply certain items such as stickers. (3) A visibility plan. As is clear in the following section, this need not be a lengthy document but it is important to ensure that visibility/communication issues are considered in advance and not, as has happened in the past, only where the operation is nearing completion. This is in line with the aim set out in the DGs information strategy of developing a wider information reflex including among partners.

The amount of emphasis given to visibility should be appropriate, taking account of the urgency, nature and context of the operation. (a) Urgency Where a speedy intervention is envisaged in response to a sudden crisis, (primary emergency decision) partners are not expected at the outset to devote significant time or resources to information aspects. Thus, the obligation to submit a visibility plan can be met by a short paragraph in the proposal. Partners should nonetheless ensure, in such situations, that the Commissions support for their action is displayed prominently in some way. Given that emergencies often attract significant media attention, when speaking to journalists, partners should mention the Commissions support. Later, during the implementation phase, they should examine appropriate ways of gaining further visibility for the action.


Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005

Where an urgent intervention is envisaged in response to a developing situation (emergency decisions), information activities that go beyond basic visibility should be considered at the outset, insofar as this is compatible with operational priorities. Where more long-term assistance is being provided (through normal humanitarian aid decisions and global plans), the information element must be fully developed in the visibility plan. (b) Nature Some operations lend themselves more readily to information activities than others. Projects relating to coordination, security etc. are unlikely to require a major visibility component. Those covering human interest actions such as child nutrition, health and refugee support should involve a more extensive visibility/information component. (c) Context The Humanitarian Aid DG recognises that factors such as insecurity or local political sensibilities may curtail information activities in some crisis zones and, in extreme cases, it may be necessary to avoid visibility altogether. In such circumstances, partners should consider whether there is still scope for information actions linked to the project but undertaken outside the project area (for example, in the EU).


In determining the suitability of actions to be funded under the visibility heading in Commission-funded humanitarian operations, a distinction needs to be drawn between: (a) Information and communication activities, in which the central objective is to raise awareness among a target audience about: The Commission, its humanitarian role and key messages; The Commissions partnership with the agency implementing the project, or; The project and its aims, and: (b) Activities that are part of the operational content of the project itself and which, by definition, require the use of information and communication tools. Examples include: awareness raising about the risks of UXO; public education campaigns designed to encourage understanding of hygiene; training brochures. Activities mentioned at (a) above clearly come under the visibility heading. Generally speaking, it is inappropriate to use visibility funds in operational agreements for the kinds of activity listed at (b). The following examples illustrate the distinction:


Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005

Correct use of visibility funds for communication purposes: (i) Publication of a brochure describing the project, the problems it was designed to address and its concrete results. (ii) Organisation of a launch event, with media invited, to inaugurate the project. (iii) Production of a TV or radio spot explaining the project, highlighting the Commission/partner relationship and delivering a key message (e.g. European solidarity with those in need). Incorrect use of visibility funds for communication purposes: (i) Publication of a practical manual on how to maintain Commission-funded wells that have just been constructed. (ii) Organisation of a seminar for local staff on how to keep the project running. (iii) Broadcast of educational TV messages on good hygiene as part of a health project. The fact that the DGs visual identity is displayed in the aforementioned examples is not sufficient, in itself, to turn them into communication actions. (The visual identity should, in any case, always appear.)


Visibility plans developed for operational agreements under a normal humanitarian aid decision or global plan should be drawn up at the same time as the agreement wherever possible, for implementation in parallel with the project. In addition to a budget, they should contain the following elements: (a) Clearly defined objective(s) For example: to ensure that the beneficiary population is aware of the partner/Commission role in the activity; to raise awareness among the host country population or in Europe of the partner/Commission role in delivering relief to the population in a crisis zone. (b) A defined target audience For example: the population of a refugee camp; opinion leaders or the general public in the host country; specific groups or the general public in an EU Member State (typically the partners country of origin). (c) The communication instruments chosen and why, emphasising cost effectiveness. Examples of different types of information and communication activities are provided in the Annex at section F. (d) An assessment of likely impact through indicators The Humanitarian Aid DG recognises that in the information sphere, it is extremely difficult to devise reliable impact indicators that do not involve prohibitive expense. Ultimately, the only way to gauge the impact of an information action is by


Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005

representative polling of the target group, which is rarely feasible. However, the partner should, in the visibility plan, provide as much information as possible about the expected impact of information activities citing figures such as: newspaper circulation/readership (where a written media action is proposed) audience viewing and listening figures (where an audiovisual action is proposed) number of participants and likely coverage in local international media (where an event is proposed) expected number of hits on the website (where a website is proposed) At events involving invited participants, and in other circumstances where feasible, assessment forms should be provided to those taking part in information activities in order to obtain feedback about the effectiveness and utility of the action.

The proportion of the budget in an operational agreement set aside for information activities will clearly depend on the various factors already outlined relating to the urgency and nature of the action. The following guidelines are suggested: Minimum Not fixed but a suggested minimum of around 1,000 for basic visibility items (stickers/visual identity on humanitarian items distributed under the project) 50,000 or 5% of the overall budget, whichever is the smaller.


Any proposal by a partner to exceed the maximum figures stated above should be duly justified by the partner and accepted by the Humanitarian Aid DG.


Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005


Partners should take account of the following in devising information activities to be funded under operational agreements: The Commissions humanitarian aid is governed by the key principle of impartiality. This principle applies to the content of all information products financed by the Humanitarian Aid DG. While it may be necessary to summarise the political context to explain why a particular humanitarian action is required, this should be done in a factual and objective way avoiding, as far as possible, direct criticism of states, international institutions, public authorities or personalities. The focus should be on needs and the way in which the humanitarian action meets these needs. Methods of communication selected and messages should be compatible with the prevailing social or religious norms in the place where the information action is being implemented. Activities should respect the local environment. In publications, the local language should be used as far as possible.

The annex contains a list of visibility, information and communication actions with a number of specific examples provided as guidance to partners. This list is not exhaustive and the Humanitarian Aid DG welcomes innovative communication proposals.
Further details and/or clarifications about the Humanitarian Aid DGs information activities can be obtained from the information unit (ECHO 7) at the following address: Information Unit (ECHO 7) Humanitarian Aid Directorate-General European Commission B - 1049 Brussels Tel: + 32 (0)2 295 44 00 Fax: + 32 (0)2 295 45 72 E-mail: Web site:


Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005

Annex A partnership for communication

Types of visibility and information/communication action

A. Basic visibility
Display panels must be used to identify Commission-funded humanitarian projects being implemented in clearly identifiable geographical locations. The number and size of the panels should be commensurate with the scale of the operation. The panels should be in the local language(s) and clearly legible. They should normally be erected beside access routes to the project site or at the entrance to selected buildings used/supported by the project (for example the main administrative project office, a hospital funded under the project etc.) The panels must clearly display the Humanitarian Aid DGs visual identity and should include the following message: Project (funded) (supported) by the European Commission through its Humanitarian Aid department in local language(s) and English or French. The dual use of display panels, in which space is also allocated to practical messages, is also encouraged. Thus, for example, a panel: relating to a Commission-funded health clinic could include information about good hygiene practices; displayed at the headquarters of a demining operation could give advice on what to do (and not to do) when suspect devices are found.


Supplies or equipment delivered under a humanitarian project funded by the Commission must clearly display the DGs visual identity and the text: Provided with European Commission support through its Humanitarian Aid department in local language(s) and English or French. Once the project has been completed, the visual identity and text must be removed from any vehicles still in use, or being disposed of, by the partner.


Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005


People attending training courses, conferences, seminars, fairs, exhibitions and workshops financed within the framework of operational contracts must be made aware that the Commission is financing the event, through the prominent use of the DGs visual identity and of the following text: Supported by the European Commission through its Humanitarian Aid department The DGs visual identity must appear on all documents relating to the event.


(e.g. t-shirts, caps, pens, footballs) All of the above-mentioned materials produced in the context of a Commission-funded humanitarian project must feature the DGs visual identity, in the same dimensions as the partners logo and in an equally prominent position, using local languages where appropriate.


Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005

B. Using existing communication tools

Where the partners website specifically features a Commission-funded humanitarian project, this fact should be acknowledged in the text using a full description and not simply the short form. For example: The project, funded by the European Commissions Humanitarian Aid department, supports 10,000 refugees living in temporary camps... More generally, the partnership with the Commission should be mentioned on the websites of its FPA partners. The location of the reference will depend on the structure of the site. Possibilities include: A page listing partners A page listing donors A page describing finances In any event, the minimum requirement is to include a reference to the Commission as a funding partner and the Humanitarian Aid DG visual identity, hyperlinked to the DGs website. Where the page structure allows, a more descriptive text about the Commissions humanitarian aid should be included. (See Section E of this annex for the long and short presentational messages).

Where a partner publication (including regular newsletters/magazines, leaflets and brochures) specifically features a Commission-funded humanitarian project, this fact should be acknowledged in the text using a full description and not simply the short form. For example: The project, funded by the European Commissions Humanitarian Aid department, supports 10,000 refugees living in temporary camps... More generally, the DG is willing to provide stories for partners publications and is keen to develop closer links with the relevant newsletter/magazine editors.


Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005

C. Media actions 1. PRESS RELEASES

Partners are encouraged to issue press releases highlighting Commission-funded humanitarian projects. Project-specific press releases are more likely to lead to coverage if issued to the media in the region or country of operation (in the appropriate language) than in the partners home country. An exception is high profile crises, where press releases issued in the partners home country may be appropriate. Press releases may be issued at any stage during the implementation of a project but would normally be linked to a key event in the project cycle, for example: The signature of the financing agreement. e.g (using a hypothetical NGO called People First): PF project funded by the European Commission

New health clinic for Bunia

Commencement of work on the infrastructure. e.g.: PF project funded by the European Commission

First bricks of new Bunia health clinic are put in place

Completion of project/commencement of service delivery. e.g.: PF project funded by the European Commission

New Bunia health clinic opens for business

The use of a double title is recommended: the first in a smaller font mentioning the Commission/partner link and the second main heading, in journalistic style, highlighting the project. In the substantive text, it must be stated clearly that the Humanitarian Aid department of the European Commission is funding the project. After the substantive text and details of whom to contact, a short box should be included containing the DG logo and the following text. The European Commissions Humanitarian Aid department supports relief activities for vulnerable people in crisis zones around the world. This could be preceded, if the partner wishes, with a similar sentence about the partner. The DGs visual identity should appear on the press release. Where a press release of a more general nature issued by the partner refers specifically to a Commission-funded humanitarian project, this fact should be indicated.


Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005

Example of a project-specific press release relating to a Commission-funded humanitarian project (fictitious): PF project funded by the European Commission

New Bunia health clinic opens for business

Just eight weeks after the first brick was laid, a new clinic serving the northern district of Bunia has opened. It is providing vital health services for more than 10,000 people, including 3,000 who were displaced in recent fighting in eastern areas of Ituri province. The clinic was built by People First, an NGO that provides emergency relief to victims of humanitarian crises, with funding from the European Commissions Humanitarian Aid department. At a brief opening ceremony before the first consultations began, Dr George Kiarie, the clinics director, said that the new facility would meet essential needs in an area where people previously had no access to health services. We will be able to diagnose and treat many people before it is too late and begin the important task of vaccinating children against life-threatening diseases. Liam Murphy, the coordinator for PF projects in Ituri stressed the importance of the clinic in identifying and tackling malnutrition among under-fives. The scheduled mother and child sessions will ensure that the very youngest members of the community who are also its most vulnerable will be properly monitored and, where necessary, treated. The representative of the Commissions Humanitarian Aid department, Greta Schneider, explained the decision to finance the new clinic. We are targeting areas and people who are in greatest need and it is clear to us after the fighting three months ago, that health care is a top priority for Northern Bunia. The project includes funding for medicines, supplies and staff for six months. PF, with Commission support, is also examining ways of ensuring longer term development funding of the clinic. Contact for further information: Mary McCarthy Tel . Fax. e-mail.

Logo + PF is an Irish non-governmental organisation that runs relief and development programmes in 15 countries in Africa and south-east Asia. Visual identity + The European Commissions Humanitarian Aid department supports relief activities for vulnerable people in crisis zones around the world.


Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005

Example of a general press release mentioning a Commission-funded humanitarian project

People First calls for more focus on clean water in crisis zones
Sandra Collins, the director of humanitarian NGO, People First, has pleaded for more funding for emergency water supply projects in crisis zones. Her call follows the revelation that up to half a million displaced people from Darfur, living in temporary camps, risk contracting serious diseases through drinking contaminated water. Speaking at a conference in Dublin, Ms Collins said: The humanitarian community is faced with a huge challenge when large numbers of people have been displaced. Providing basic food, shelter and medical assistance are obviously priorities but clean water is just as important. Diseases such as typhoid and cholera often kill more people in the aftermath of a crisis when people think they have reached a place of safety. Ms Collins cited the example of a successful PF project carried out last year in Southern Sudan. Funded by the European Commissions Humanitarian Aid department, the project reduced the incidence of water-borne disease by an estimated 40%. More resources are needed for actions like this, she said. They are highly effective in saving lives.

There may be occasions when it is appropriate to purchase advertising space in the print media. Care should be exercised in ensuring that messages are not overtly political nor seen as propaganda. Advertorials involve using most of the purchased space for articles featuring projects, preferably with a human interest angle. A short box article describing the partner and the Commissions humanitarian aid is included alongside (the press release above provides a possible model).

Obtaining media coverage is the most effective way of communicating to large audiences. Partners are encouraged to provide stories to the media featuring their cooperation with the Commission in the humanitarian field, and to attract media interest through innovative information and communication actions. Partners should always cite the Commission when speaking to the media about their projects funded through the Humanitarian Aid DG. In emergency situations, partners receiving or expecting to receive Commission humanitarian funds should, as far as possible, mention this fact in any media interviews. Where journalists visit a Commission-funded humanitarian project, the partner should ensure that the Commissions role as the donor is fully explained. Where feasible, the partner should also: Offer information to the journalists about whom to contact in the Humanitarian Aid DG (normally the nearest field office) for further information about its role;


Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005

Notify the relevant DG field office about the media interest in the project, giving the names of the media organisations and journalists concerned.


A partner may use visibility funds to pay basic costs - travel and daily allowances - to journalists to cover their Commission-funded humanitarian projects (see example at F.1 below). Care is needed when exercising this option as the principle of journalistic independence means that coverage cannot always be guaranteed and where it does occur, it could be in a form that undermines the impartiality of humanitarian aid. It is usually better to focus on feature/documentary journalists or writers from more specialised publications likely to cover humanitarian stories.


Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005

D. Examples of other information and communication that could be financed under the visibility heading of a financing agreement
Various kinds of event are possible, so long as the primary purpose is information and communication (see section C.3 of the Guidelines on the distinction between information actions and actions using information tools that are part of the operational content of a project). Events can be staged either in the country/region where the project is located or in the European Union. In either case, attracting media interest particularly TV and radio will nearly always be a key element. Events that focus on other information multipliers (see point A.2.(a) of the Guidelines) are also encouraged. Good visibility should be ensured through banners and display boards, in the local language where appropriate, giving information about the project, the partner and the Commission. Where such events are planned, the Humanitarian Aid DG, through its field office and/or the Commission delegation/representation must be invited to participate. Local community leaders would normally be invited as well. The presence of regional or national officials/politicians will normally boost the prospect of media coverage but this must depend on the local political context. In general, it is a good idea to have more than just speechmaking at events staged in the project location. Possibilities for boosting their attractiveness include a practical demonstration of the project at work (where suitable), a display or performance by a local cultural group, a competition for local children etc. The following are examples of the kind of event that could be organised. The list is not exhaustive and other ideas are always welcome: (a) Opening events at the project location Where a project is due to be initiated at a specific time, the partner may organise a formal opening ceremony. The circumstances need to be appropriate. For example, such an event may be suitable for the inauguration of a well in a flood-prone village, but not for the opening of a malnutrition centre in an acute crisis. In any case, care is needed to ensure that the event is in keeping with the humanitarian nature of the operation. It should not be too extravagant or flashy. (b) Closing events at the project location Although closing events are less likely to be considered, there are occasionally circumstances when the phasing out of a humanitarian project is so strongly associated with an improved local situation that such an event can be used to signify the end of the crisis and looking to a brighter future. Normally, there would be significant LRRD elements involved (i.e. the relief agencies have completed their task and longer term development is now under way).


Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005

(c) Other events at the project location during the implementation period Any social, cultural or recreational activities organised for beneficiaries. Examples include sports events for teenagers, drawing/painting workshops or puppet shows for children in hospitals etc. These are an effective way of being directly visible to the beneficiaries and can attract media attention. Community events can also include more low-profile but effective activities regularly carried out by partners to increase local awareness - such as meetings and dialogue with local authorities and traditional and religious leaders. During these activities, partners should explain where the funding comes from. (d) Events outside the project area (e.g. in the capital city of the country of operation, or in Europe) Possibilities here include: Photo exhibitions featuring the projects achievements; Seminars/conferences to discuss the humanitarian issues dealt with by the project (note that a link with the project is needed and the event must be potentially high impact to justify spending visibility funds); Interactive events for particular target groups (such as children) highlighting the humanitarian issue covered by the project with wider publicity envisaged.

Audiovisual productions featuring projects can be an effective way of communicating humanitarian messages and publicising the work of the partner and of the Commission. Professional productions are often expensive, however, and the partner should therefore have a proper plan for the utilisation of the product. A key aim should be to obtain expressions of interest (and, if possible, commitments) from TV stations with a view to ensuring that the programme will be broadcast. The Humanitarian Aid DG may also support audiovisual productions intended for wider dissemination, for example to schools, without their actually being broadcast. In this case, a proper distribution plan is needed, with a list of intended recipients. Such productions may be part of a wider information campaign (that may include written materials/promotional items etc.) For all videos produced under a Commission-funded humanitarian project (under the visibility heading, as a training product etc) the following are required: The submission in advance to the DG of a detailed scenario describing the planned sequence of images, the themes to be covered in the production and the likely interviewees. The inclusion of one of the following texts on a separate shot in the opening or closing credits of the video and on the jacket or CD-rom box: Supported by + DG visual identity


Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005

or Supported by the European Commission through its Humanitarian Aid department Where the video appears on a CD-rom, the creation of a hyperlink between the DGs visual identity and its website. In all productions of a documentary nature lasting three minutes or more (as opposed to spots) the Commission must be specifically integrated into the programme. The Humanitarian Aid DG should therefore be requested to nominate an appropriate member of staff for interview fitting in with the context of the production to appear on the video. Where Commission-funded humanitarian projects are being featured, this should be stated clearly in the commentary (e.g. funding for the project comes from the European Commissions Humanitarian Aid department). The Commission is entitled to use or reproduce, wholly or in part, videos produced by a partner under a financing agreement. 3 VHS copies and a Betacam version (and a MPEG version where possible) should be sent to the ECHO Information Unit. Partners must take particular care to meet the requirements of the first indent of Section C.6 of the Guidelines (application of the principle of impartiality that applies to the content of all information products financed by the DG).

Leaflets and brochures may be produced under the visibility line of a financing agreement, highlighting the project. These should always include a box with at least the following basic text: Visual identity + The Humanitarian Aid department of the European Commission funds relief operations for victims of natural disasters and conflicts outside the European Union. Aid is channelled impartially, straight to victims, regardless of their race, religion and political beliefs. Publications may be produced for various target audiences including beneficiaries, and populations in the country where the operation is being implemented (using local languages where necessary) as well as European readerships.


Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005


The cost of developing websites or web pages that are specific to the project may be covered by the visibility line in the financing agreement. New project-specific websites will only be supported if shown to be cost effective in terms of their likely impact. Normally these would be linked to a wider communication campaign (for example, a schools competition). Where a website or webpage relating to a Commission-funded humanitarian project is established: the text must include specific mention of the fact that the project has been funded by the Commission; the DG visual identity must be prominently displayed.

Visibility funding can be used to employ professional photographers to cover Commission-funded humanitarian operations. This can be in support of other information activities (images for leaflets, websites or other publications produced by the partner). It may also be in the context of a proposed photo exhibition. Where funding is sought for a photo exhibition (covering the costs of the photographer, venue, advertising etc), the NGO must show that the action is likely to have a sufficiently high impact to justify the cost. In contracts with photographers funded by the Humanitarian Aid DG, explicit permission should be given to the DG (and, we recommend, to the partner) to use the photos in their own range of information products on a non-exclusive basis. This may be more expensive than rights that are tied to a particular information product. However, it avoids the problem of follow-up where a photo purchased for one use has to be paid for again if a decision is taken to use it in another way. Copies of all photos should be supplied to the information unit of the Humanitarian Aid DG (ECHO 7) as high quality prints and/or in numeric format containing at least three million pixels. The images should be accompanied by brief captions relating to the subject of the picture and an explanatory sheet giving background information about the photo series in question (date, country, city/region, project). The name of the organisation or person that owns the copyright should always be included to allow the DG to ensure that the photos are properly credited.


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Permanent commemorative plaques are an effective way of acknowledging Commission involvement in the rehabilitation of permanent structures such as hospitals or schools. These should be produced in the local language. They may be envisaged in the context of an opening or closing event as mentioned earlier. The plaque must contain the following sentence: This (name of structure) was funded by the European Commission through its Humanitarian Aid department Where feasible, the visual identity should be included on the plaque.

Where a substantial information activity or a series of activities are envisaged under an operational agreement, a proportion of the funding may be used to employ staff with particular expertise in the field (e.g. an events organiser, web designer or writer/editor).


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E. Presentational texts/messages
The Humanitarian Aid DG is keen to communicate key messages in all the information activities that it supports. A list of such message is provided at point 2(b) of the Guidelines. In addition to these, the DG has two presentational texts to be used wherever possible. Long text The European Commissions Humanitarian Aid department is under the direct responsibility of Commissioner (name). Since 1992, the Commission has funded relief to millions of victims of natural and man-made disasters outside the EU. Aid is channelled impartially to the affected populations, regardless of their race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, nationality or political affiliation. In the area of humanitarian aid, the Commission works with 200 operational partners, including specialised United Nation agencies, the Red Cross/Crescent movement and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The European Commission is one of the biggest sources of humanitarian aid in the world. In (year), it provided (amount latest available figure) for humanitarian programmes. This does not include the aid given separately by the EUs 25 Member States. Support went to projects in (number) countries. The funds are spent on goods and services such as food, clothing, shelter, medical provisions, water supplies, sanitation, emergency repairs and mine-clearing. The Commission also funds disaster preparedness and mitigation projects in regions prone to natural catastrophes. The following situations, involving funding from the visibility line of an operational agreement, are examples of where this text should be used: As a box article supplied to journalists receiving funding to write about the project; In any relevant publication (brochure, event programme etc); On a panel at a photo exhibition.


Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005

Short text The Humanitarian Aid department of the European Commission funds relief operations for victims of natural disasters and conflicts outside the European Union. Aid is channelled impartially, straight to victims, regardless of their race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, nationality or political affiliation. This short version should be used where insufficient space is available for the long version. Examples include: Display panels at project locations As a box on web pages featuring projects Leaflets on projects


Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005

F. Concrete examples of successful communication actions

Reports by TVE2 on the Palestinian Territories, in partnership with Accin contra el Hambre (ACH) and the Commission A series of five short reports was shown on Spains second public TV channel in February 2004, during evening news programme watched by millions of viewers. Some of the reports were also broadcast around the world by TVEs satellite channel. The reports highlighted the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the West Bank and reported on an ACH water and food security project funded by the Commission. Transport and accommodation for the film crew and ACH HQ staff were paid for under the visibility line of the operational agreement. While ACH and ECHO had little control over the end product, the broadcaster provided suitable visibility for the Commission, including interviews with a DG field expert and the Commission representative in the Palestinian Territories. From a visibility standpoint, the operation was therefore highly cost-effective. UNHCR schools project in France and selected German Lnder The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, with significant inputs from the information unit of the Humanitarian Aid DG (ECHO 7), developed and implemented a campaign aimed at raising awareness in schools in France and three German lnder on some of the most serious protection-related issues affecting young refugees in Africa. The project included the production of an educational pack for 12-17 year-olds on the theme of African Refugee Youth: Building the Future. The educational pack was launched in June and was disseminated in schools. Through personal testimonials from young refugees, the campaign focused on the key challenges facing young African refugees, on the UNHCRs response and on the role of the Commission as a humanitarian donor, working with the UN agency. This project was funded under the visibility line of an operational agreement with UNHCR. Flights for children on Schuman day in Nairobi On 9 May 2002 (Schuman Day), ECHOs Nairobi regional office organised short trips on ECHO Flight for orphans and other children living in homes in the region. In addition to the flight, the children received baseball caps, tee-shirts, and bags as well as information about the humanitarian work of the Commission. From a communication point of view, the main purpose of the initiative was to generate media coverage. This was achieved locally (through TV, radio and newspaper).


Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005

The activity was funded through the regional office. The main cost, for the flights, was absorbed by the ECHO Flight budget (using spare flying hours in the contract with the air service company). Equipment for Serbian participants at the 2003 Special Olympics in Ireland To mark the end of Commission humanitarian aid activities in the Balkans, and to give a fitting conclusion to its long years of support for people with disabilities in the region, the ECHO office in Belgrade provided equipment for the first-ever Serbian team to take part in the Special Olympics. The activity, funded through the field office, gave the Commission good visibility in the Serbian media as well as highlighting disability issues. Landmines Experience Media Day by MAG in the UK This awareness-raising event, staged in Leeds (UK), was attended by a group of around 30 young people from local schools. A Commission representative made a presentation at the opening session and Commission visibility was assured through the display of the visual identity on all documents, at the exhibition and on banners at the venue for the practical demonstration. The young people were shown a wide variety of unexploded ordnance with a particular emphasis on anti-personnel devices. This lively briefing was followed by an exercise in which the participants donned protective clothing and used metal detectors to find hidden mines (metal badges). A BBC journalist who lost a limb in a mine explosion in Iraq spoke about his experience. The project was extremely well conceived with a view to attracting local media attention with positive results on TV, radio and the local press. The Commission funded 50% of the cost of the action through the ECHO awarenessraising grant facility (no longer in use). Youth Solidarity Day in Brussels In January 2004, 540 secondary school students (aged 16-17) and 60 of their teachers from the 15 Member States attended a Youth Solidarity Day at the European Parliament in Brussels, jointly organised by the Commission and the EP. This was a large-scaled, multi-faceted event that included the following: A series of interactive modules provided by operational partners of the Humanitarian Aid DG (the Mines Advisory Group provided a demining experience similar to the one mentioned above, ACF set up a mock feeding centre, Belgian Red Cross ran a family tracing exercise). A press conference. Presentations in plenary, in the EPs debating chamber, by various speakers (high


Guidelines for NGO partners revised version September 2005

level EP, Commission and HCR), partners etc. Debate in plenary on a draft resolution covering a range of humanitarian issues, including debate and votes on amendments/addenda submitted by the participating schools. The text adopted was presented to the EP President. Animation was provided by a well-known TV presenter. The event was covered throughout the day by numerous TV and radio crews and print journalists. Extensive coverage was obtained, most notably in the home regions of the participating schools. The project was funded jointly by the EP, which provided the venue and covered transport and accommodation for the participants, and the Commission, using service contracts under the information budget of the ECHO information unit. This included contracts with partners for the interactive modules.