Guidelines for NGO partners – revised version September 2005
HUMANITARIAN AID DIRECTORATE GENERAL (ECHO)
Information and Communication
A partnership for communication
Guidelines for the Commission’s NGO partners on the implementation of visibility, information and communication activities relating to humanitarian aid
A. INTRODUCTION 1. 2. 3. WHY IS JOINT COMMUNICATION IMPORTANT? The INFORMATION STRATEGY OF THE HUMANITARIAN AID DIRECTORATE-GENERAL “EUROPEAN” TERMINOLOGY
B. CATEGORIES OF JOINT COMMUNICATION 1. 2. 3. INTRODUCTION INFORMATION ACTIONS LINKED TO PROJECTS UNDER A HUMANITARIAN AID FINANCING
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ACTIONS
C. IMPLEMENTING THE FPA - SPECIFIC GUIDELINES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS APPROPRIATE VISIBILITY WHAT IS AN INFORMATION ACTION? WHAT SHOULD A VISIBILITY PLAN CONTAIN? THE BUDGET POLITICAL AND ETHICAL ASPECTS TYPES OF VISIBILITY AND COMMUNICATION ACTION
Guidelines for NGO partners – revised version September 2005
1. WHY IS JOINT COMMUNICATION IMPORTANT?
The fundamental task of the European Commission’s 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 Commission’s 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 world’s 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 world’s 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 EU’s 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 Commission’s role in delivering effective assistance to victims of humanitarian crises.
2. THE INFORMATION STRATEGY OF THE HUMANITARIAN AID DIRECTORATEGENERAL
The strategy, updated at the beginning of 2004, identifies the DG’s 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 Commission’s 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 Commission’s 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 Commission’s 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 Commission’s 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 DG’s 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 world’s 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.
(d) Applying a cost benefit approach The choice of information tools (products and activities) must always be preceded by a cost benefit assessment. the Commission’s press department recommends the more general use of “European Union” and its acronym “EU” in non-technical communications.) When referring to the Humanitarian Aid “Directorate-General”. most of which reflect the basic values and principles of the wider humanitarian community. it should not be used in public information materials. “European Community (EC)” and “European Union (EU)”. 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.
. “European Communities”. the term Humanitarian Aid department” (“d” in lower case) is preferred in non-technical texts targeting the public. “EUROPEAN” TERMINOLOGY
The European Union’s institutional evolution is reflected in nomenclature that can sometimes be confusing. Costs must include human resources deployed (and not merely the budgetary element) while benefits will be determined on the basis of the expected impact. 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). In the humanitarian area. The term should always be used when referring to the work of the Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Directorate-General. this is acceptable so long as it does not create confusion (for example: it is not clear in the phrase “the EU’s humanitarian aid response” whether this means the Commission only or the Commission plus Member States. (c) Developing a wider information reflex Communicating about the Commission’s humanitarian aid is not solely the task of the information staff working in its Humanitarian Aid department. It also involves working more closely with partners. Over the years we have had “EEC”.
3.Guidelines for NGO partners – revised version September 2005
• The European Commission is committed to preserving the dignity of populations affected by humanitarian crises. It is sensible to work in synergy with humanitarian partners to get these messages across. both quantitative and qualitative. “Common Market”. The strategy aims to develop a wider information reflex in the DG. of course. The Commission does not. to ensure that resources are used effectively. European Union: Reflecting the practice of most media organisations. The preferred terms are: European Commission: This can be shortened to ‘Commission’ once the context is obvious. claim a monopoly over these messages.
INFORMATION ACTIONS LINKED TO PROJECTS UNDER A HUMANITARIAN AID
In the Framework Partnership Agreement. the essential provision relating to visibility/information is Article 5.funded humanitarian programmes. 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. in particular in Europe and in third countries where the Community funds major humanitarian operations. (a) The general rule Under Article 6. highlighting humanitarian needs. and thus to strengthen the image both of the Commission and of the organisations that implement Commission.1 of the General Conditions.
2. The Humanitarian Aid DG recognises that the creativity of partners offers additional potential for displaying our common commitment to humanitarian principles and values. CATEGORIES OF JOINT COMMUNICATION
1. 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. “The humanitarian organisation shall contribute to the visibility of the humanitarian operations financed by the European Community. provided that this does not harm the organisation’s mandate or the safety of its staff.Guidelines for NGO partners – revised version September 2005
B. The term “visibility” used here is interpreted broadly to include information and communication activities. • Additional information actions outside the framework of humanitarian aid financing agreements. INTRODUCTION
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.” 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.
.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. issues and responses. The synergies that contribute to a successful humanitarian aid programme may also be relevant for a variety of information actions.
The views expressed herein should not be taken.3. stickers and the Commission’s visual identity on documents. The Organisation’s publications and reports prepared in response to. shall carry the following or a similar disclaimer: "This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Community. the organisation should present a visibility plan within the framework of the operation proposal. in any way.” This is the key provision covering information and communication actions. 6. Article 6. including the Internet. shall indicate that the operation has received funding from the Community and shall display the European Union logo in an appropriate way.2 of the General Conditions states “During each operation. the general public and the media. where appropriate. Detailed guidelines covering different situations are provided at section C below.4 Communications or publications by the humanitarian organisation about the operation. (c) Minimum requirements for basic visibility Articles 6. equipment. to reflect the official opinion of the European Community.Guidelines for NGO partners – revised version September 2005
Where the partner believes that visibility is undesirable. its legislative directives are excluded from this provision. (b) Visibility actions (including information and communication) Article 6. the humanitarian organisation shall endeavour to bring the support and financing given by the European Community to the attention of the beneficiaries.4 and 6. Publications by the humanitarian organisation pertaining to operations that have received funding from the Commission. vehicles and materials used in operations financed by the Humanitarian Aid DG. including display of the European logo (twelve yellow stars on a blue background). Article 6. equipment and major supplies.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 organisation’s mandate or the safety of its staff. In keeping with this objective.
. It has a wide scope allowing a range of activities to be implemented. between brackets if necessary. the humanitarian organisation shall include appropriate acknowledgement on such vehicles.5 of the General Conditions set out the minimum visibility rules involving the display of posters. this should be agreed in advance with the Humanitarian Aid DG.” “Evidence of implementation of activities undertaken in this article will be provided in the final narrative report. because it may “harm the organisation’s mandate or the safety of its staff”.” Article 6. both in the field and. in the EU. in whatever form and whatever medium. and in accordance with. including at a conference or seminar.5 Publicity pertaining to the European Community contributions shall quote these contributions in Euro.
. visibility for the Commission should still be provided but it may be in a reduced form. where feasible.int/comm/echo/index_fr.1 has been invoked by the partner Where the Commission’s contribution is less than 50% and other partners are also providing funding. It must be used in its entirety without any alterations or additions. The requirement to display the European logo (6.3) should be met by using the Humanitarian Aid DG’s visual identity. the requirement is waived. where it is not feasible for all co-funders’ logos to be reproduced on a small visibility item.eu. In some cases.htm (English) http://europa. On the page or pages where this information is published. for example. plastic sheeting and individual packaging used for foodstuffs and other supplies). must therefore be prominently displayed on all items mentioned above (including. the acknowledgement of the Commission’s support should include the DG’s visual identity (or an appropriate part of the text) hyperlinked to one of the following DG web addresses: http://europa. the visual identity of the Humanitarian Aid DG.eu. sacks.
The reference to “communications or publications” at Article 6(4) includes information about Commission-funded humanitarian operations on partners’ websites. accompanied where appropriate by a specific acknowledgement of the Commission funding (see part A of the annex). tents.Guidelines for NGO partners – revised version September 2005
In general.int/comm/echo/index_en. which incorporates the European emblem. containers. 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. The visual identity is available on the DG’s website. Local language versions prepared by the partner must be submitted to the DG’s relevant field office for approval.
except through humanitarian aid financing agreements where the action must be linked to the operational activities covered by the agreement. activities or speakers for public events organised by the DG. however. beyond the requirements of the FPA. This happens less often than one might expect.Guidelines for NGO partners – revised version September 2005
(d) The Commission’s right to publish basic information about partners and their Commission-funded humanitarian operations Under Article 6.the humanitarian organisation’s name and official address. acceptance of an invitation to speak at an event) or contractual (e. Again. (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. more could be done to develop this kind of action. . where this is cost-effective and added value can be obtained. Grants are not available from the DG for information actions. Examples include requests for DG speakers at seminars/conferences. the European Commission may agree to forgo such publicity if disclosure of the above information would risk threatening the Organisation’s safety or harming its interests.6 of the General Conditions.
. Upon a duly substantiated request by the Humanitarian Organisation. magazines and websites.”
3. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ACTIONS
The Commission is keen to develop cooperation with partners in the information sphere. “The humanitarian organisation authorises the Commission to publish the following information in any form and medium. including via the Internet: . Such inputs can be either informal (e. Such cooperation is possible both in Europe and in the field. and the DG encourages its partners to develop a ‘Commission reflex’ when devising information activities. transport and display a stand at a conference).g. (b) Actions where the Humanitarian Aid DG is the ‘lead actor’ and where a partner’s input is requested The DG may approach partners for an input to its information activities. contributions to newsletters.the purpose of the grant agreement.g. . Examples include the provision of specialised stands.the amount granted and the proportion of the operation’s total cost covered by the funding. the DG concludes a service contract with the partner to prepare.
It is possible.
. NGOs are eligible for inclusion on this list and those that are interested should consult the following webpage for information on how to apply: http://europa. however. or the hiring of space for a stand at a conference.eu. for example through the purchase of advertising in publications. The DG’s Information Unit (ECHO 7) has established an ‘AMI List’ (from the French appel à manifestation d’intérêt) of potential contractors for a range of information activities. Commission financial rules generally require a tender process.Guidelines for NGO partners – revised version September 2005
Partners should be aware that in the latter case. thereby allowing activities to be presented in a collaborative way.htm#info (c) Support for partners’ information activities There is no procedure under the information budget managed by the Humanitarian Aid DG’s Information Unit to mount joint actions with operational partners on the basis of matching funding.int/comm/echo/whatsnew/calls_en. for the DG to ‘buy into’ partners’ information operations using service contracts.
Guidelines for NGO partners – revised version September 2005
C. 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. Later. (a) Urgency Where a speedy intervention is envisaged in response to a sudden crisis. Normally. the DG may be able to supply certain items such as stickers.
2. (2) Provision for basic visibility in accordance with article 6. in such situations.5 of the General Conditions other than where the exception at article 6. only where the operation is nearing completion. Partners should nonetheless ensure. during the implementation phase.2 of the General Conditions is the key provision requiring partners to draw up a “visibility plan” in the framework of operational proposals. (primary emergency decision) partners are not expected at the outset to devote significant time or resources to information aspects. they should examine appropriate ways of gaining further visibility for the action. (1) A budget line specifically for visibility in the operational agreement. Given that emergencies often attract significant media attention.
1. taking account of the urgency.4 and 6. when speaking to journalists. the obligation to submit a visibility plan can be met by a short paragraph in the proposal. 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. nature and context of the operation. As is clear in the following section. Thus. 6. IMPLEMENTING THE FPA .
. that the Commission’s support for their action is displayed prominently in some way. this need not be a lengthy document but it is important to ensure that visibility/communication issues are considered in advance and not. visibility materials should be produced under the budget line mentioned in the preceding point but in the case of sudden emergencies. This is in line with the aim set out in the DG’s information strategy of developing a wider “information reflex” including among partners. partners should mention the Commission’s support. APPROPRIATE VISIBILITY
The amount of emphasis given to visibility should be appropriate. as has happened in the past. As stated above. MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS
The following minimum requirements apply to all operations.3.1 has been invoked.SPECIFIC GUIDELINES
Partners should be aware that the visibility elements are integral to financing agreements. Article 6. (3) A visibility plan.
In such circumstances. Projects relating to coordination. and: (b) Activities that are part of the operational content of the project itself and which. Where more long-term assistance is being provided (through ‘normal’ humanitarian aid decisions and global plans). Activities mentioned at (a) above clearly come under the ‘visibility’ heading. The following examples illustrate the distinction:
. Examples include: • awareness raising about the risks of UXO. partners should consider whether there is still scope for information actions linked to the project but undertaken outside the project area (for example. its humanitarian role and key messages. in extreme cases. • The Commission’s partnership with the agency implementing the project. (b) Nature Some operations lend themselves more readily to information activities than others. in which the central objective is to raise awareness among a target audience about: • The Commission.
3. require the use of information and communication tools. insofar as this is compatible with operational priorities. WHAT IS AN INFORMATION ACTION?
In determining the suitability of actions to be funded under the ‘visibility’ heading in Commission-funded humanitarian operations. or. by definition. are unlikely to require a major visibility component. Those covering ‘human interest’ actions such as child nutrition. • public education campaigns designed to encourage understanding of hygiene. a distinction needs to be drawn between: (a) Information and communication activities. information activities that go beyond basic visibility should be considered at the outset. in the EU).Guidelines for NGO partners – revised version September 2005
Where an urgent intervention is envisaged in response to a developing situation (emergency decisions). • The project and its aims. Generally speaking. it may be necessary to avoid visibility altogether. security etc. health and refugee support should involve a more extensive visibility/information component. • training brochures. it is inappropriate to use visibility funds in operational agreements for the kinds of activity listed at (b). (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. the information element must be fully developed in the visibility plan.
Ultimately. (ii) Organisation of a “launch event”. in any case. In addition to a budget. highlighting the Commission/partner relationship and delivering a key message (e. to inaugurate the project. (c) The communication instruments chosen and why.g. emphasising cost effectiveness. “European solidarity with those in need”). (d) An assessment of likely impact through indicators The Humanitarian Aid DG recognises that in the information sphere. specific groups or the general public in an EU Member State (typically the partner’s country of origin).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 fact that the DG’s visual identity is displayed in the aforementioned examples is not sufficient. 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.)
4. with media invited. 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. it is extremely difficult to devise reliable impact indicators that do not involve prohibitive expense. opinion leaders or the general public in the host country. (iii) Broadcast of educational TV messages on good hygiene as part of a health project. the problems it was designed to address and its concrete results. the only way to gauge the impact of an information action is by
. to turn them into ‘communication’ actions. (ii) Organisation of a seminar for local staff on how to keep the project running. in itself. (The visual identity should. (b) A defined target audience For example: the population of a refugee camp. always appear. (iii) Production of a TV or radio spot explaining the project. WHAT SHOULD A VISIBILITY PLAN CONTAIN?
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. 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. for implementation in parallel with the project. Examples of different types of information and communication activities are provided in the Annex at section F.
. THE BUDGET
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. which is rarely feasible. and in other circumstances where feasible.
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. 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. the partner should. 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. whichever is the smaller. However.
5.000 or 5% of the overall budget.000 for basic visibility items (stickers/visual identity on humanitarian items distributed under the project) €50.Guidelines for NGO partners – revised version September 2005
representative polling of the target group. The following guidelines are suggested: Minimum Not fixed but a suggested minimum of around €1.
Guidelines for NGO partners – revised version September 2005
6. the local language should be used as far as possible. This principle applies to the content of all information products financed by the Humanitarian Aid DG. This list is not exhaustive and the Humanitarian Aid DG welcomes innovative communication proposals. this should be done in a factual and objective way avoiding.
The annex contains a list of visibility.1049 Brussels Tel: + 32 (0)2 295 44 00 Fax: + 32 (0)2 295 45 72 E-mail: echo-info@cec. information and communication actions with a number of specific examples provided as guidance to partners. • 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. as far as possible.eu. POLITICAL AND ETHICAL ASPECTS
Partners should take account of the following in devising information activities to be funded under operational agreements: • The Commission’s humanitarian aid is governed by the key principle of impartiality.
Further details and/or clarifications about the Humanitarian Aid DG’s 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 . While it may be necessary to summarise the political context to explain why a particular humanitarian action is required.eu. • In publications.int Web site: http://europa. The focus should be on needs and the way in which the humanitarian action meets these needs. direct criticism of states. international institutions.int/comm/echo/
. public authorities or personalities.
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. DISPLAY PANELS
Display panels must be used to identify Commission-funded humanitarian projects being implemented in clearly identifiable geographical locations. • displayed at the headquarters of a demining operation could give advice on what to do (and not to do) when suspect devices are found. VISIBILITY ON SUPPLIES AND EQUIPMENT
Supplies or equipment delivered under a humanitarian project funded by the Commission must clearly display the DG’s visual identity and the text: Provided with European Commission support through its Humanitarian Aid department in local language(s) and English or French. a panel: • relating to a Commission-funded health clinic could include information about good hygiene practices. for example.) The panels must clearly display the Humanitarian Aid DG’s 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. Basic visibility
1. the visual identity and text must be removed from any vehicles still in use. Once the project has been completed. Thus. is also encouraged.
2.Guidelines for NGO partners – revised version September 2005
Annex A partnership for communication
Types of visibility and information/communication action
A. The ‘dual use’ of display panels. or being disposed of. a hospital funded under the project etc.
. by the partner. in which space is also allocated to practical messages. 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.
. in the same dimensions as the partner’s logo and in an equally prominent position. POSTERS.
4. footballs) All of the above-mentioned materials produced in the context of a Commission-funded humanitarian project must feature the DG’s visual identity. PROMOTIONAL ITEMS
(e. caps.Guidelines for NGO partners – revised version September 2005
3.g. STICKERS. seminars. using local languages where appropriate. conferences. t-shirts. VISIBILITY AT EVENTS FUNDED BY THE HUMANITARIAN AID DG
People attending training courses. 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 DG’s visual identity and of the following text: Supported by the European Commission through its Humanitarian Aid department The DG’s visual identity must appear on all documents relating to the event.
. For example: “The project. The location of the reference will depend on the structure of the site. funded by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department. Possibilities include: • A page listing partners • A page listing donors • A page describing finances In any event. Where the page structure allows.000 refugees living in temporary camps.” More generally.Guidelines for NGO partners – revised version September 2005
B..” More generally. funded by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department.000 refugees living in temporary camps. this fact should be acknowledged in the text using a full description and not simply the short form. this fact should be acknowledged in the text using a full description and not simply the short form. Using existing communication tools
1. PARTNERS’ PUBLICATIONS
Where a partner publication (including regular newsletters/magazines. leaflets and brochures) specifically features a Commission-funded humanitarian project. 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 DG’s website. the partnership with the Commission should be mentioned on the websites of its FPA partners. a more descriptive text about the Commission’s humanitarian aid should be included.
2.. the DG is willing to provide stories for partners’ publications and is keen to develop closer links with the relevant newsletter/magazine editors. (See Section E of this annex for the ‘long’ and ‘short’ presentational messages). supports 10.. supports 10. For example: “The project.
. PARTNER’S WEBSITE
Where the partner’s website specifically features a Commission-funded humanitarian project.
This could be preceded.: 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.: 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. An exception is high profile crises. 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 partner’s home country. e.
. Where a press release of a more general nature issued by the partner refers specifically to a Commission-funded humanitarian project. for example: • The signature of the financing agreement.g. Media actions 1.g. e. highlighting the project. in journalistic style.Guidelines for NGO partners – revised version September 2005
C. with a similar sentence about the partner. where press releases issued in the partner’s home country may be appropriate. a short box should be included containing the DG logo and the following text. if the partner wishes. After the substantive text and details of whom to contact. e. this fact should be indicated.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. In the substantive text. The DG’s visual identity should appear on the press release. PRESS RELEASES
Partners are encouraged to issue press releases highlighting Commission-funded humanitarian projects. 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. The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department supports relief activities for vulnerable people in crisis zones around the world. it must be stated clearly that the Humanitarian Aid department of the European Commission is funding the project.
the coordinator for PF projects in Ituri stressed the importance of the clinic in identifying and tackling malnutrition among under-fives.” The project includes funding for medicines.000 people. Visual identity + The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department supports relief activities for vulnerable people in crisis zones around the world. Contact for further information: Mary McCarthy Tel …. Fax…. a new clinic serving the northern district of Bunia has opened. is also examining ways of ensuring longer term development funding of the clinic. with funding from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department. the clinic’s director. The clinic was built by People First. treated. Greta Schneider. where necessary. with Commission support. “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. “We are targeting areas and people who are in greatest need and it is clear to us after the fighting three months ago.” Liam Murphy. PF.000 who were displaced in recent fighting in eastern areas of Ituri province. said that the new facility would meet essential needs in an area where people previously had no access to health services. Dr George Kiarie. e-mail…. supplies and staff for six months.
.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. “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. At a brief opening ceremony before the first consultations began. It is providing vital health services for more than 10. explained the decision to finance the new clinic. including 3. that health care is a top priority for Northern Bunia. an NGO that provides emergency relief to victims of humanitarian crises.
Logo + PF is an Irish non-governmental organisation that runs relief and development programmes in 15 countries in Africa and south-east Asia. The representative of the Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department.
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. Partners are encouraged to provide stories to the media featuring their cooperation with the Commission in the humanitarian field. Funded by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department. 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. ‘People First’. Ms Collins cited the example of a successful PF project carried out last year in Southern Sudan. Her call follows the revelation that up to half a million displaced people from Darfur. MEDIA INTERVIEWS
Obtaining media coverage is the most effective way of communicating to large audiences. In emergency situations. A short box article describing the partner and the Commission’s humanitarian aid is included alongside (the press release above provides a possible model).
3. Speaking at a conference in Dublin. ‘Advertorials’ involve using most of the purchased space for articles featuring projects. Ms Collins said: “The humanitarian community is faced with a huge challenge when large numbers of people have been displaced. Providing basic food. the project reduced the incidence of water-borne disease by an estimated 40%. has pleaded for more funding for emergency water supply projects in crisis zones. “More resources are needed for actions like this”. risk contracting serious diseases through drinking contaminated water. Where feasible.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.”
2. she said. Partners should always cite the Commission when speaking to the media about their projects funded through the Humanitarian Aid DG. mention this fact in any media interviews. partners receiving or expecting to receive Commission humanitarian funds should. Care should be exercised in ensuring that messages are not overtly political nor seen as propaganda. “They are highly effective in saving lives. the partner should ensure that the Commission’s role as the donor is fully explained. as far as possible. shelter and medical assistance are obviously priorities but clean water is just as important. preferably with a human interest angle. PAID ADVERTISING
There may be occasions when it is appropriate to purchase advertising space in the print media. living in temporary camps. and to attract media interest through innovative information and communication actions. Where journalists visit a Commission-funded humanitarian project.
FUNDING FOR JOURNALISTS’ VISITS
A partner may use visibility funds to pay basic costs .to journalists to cover their Commission-funded humanitarian projects (see example at F.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.
4. 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.travel and daily allowances . It is usually better to focus on feature/documentary journalists or writers from more specialised publications likely to cover humanitarian stories. it could be in a form that undermines the impartiality of humanitarian aid.1 below).
Examples of other information and communication that could be financed under the visibility heading of a financing agreement
1. attracting media interest – particularly TV and radio will nearly always be a key element. Events can be staged either in the country/region where the project is located or in the European Union. Normally. 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’. 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. Good visibility should be ensured through banners and display boards.e. In any case. through its field office and/or the Commission delegation/representation must be invited to participate. giving information about the project. a competition for local children etc. For example. (b) Closing events at the project location Although closing events are less likely to be considered. but not for the opening of a malnutrition centre in an acute crisis.
. Events that focus on other information multipliers (see point A. the partner and the Commission. The circumstances need to be appropriate. Local community leaders would normally be invited as well. In general. Where such events are planned. so long as the primary purpose is information and communication (see section C. the Humanitarian Aid DG.Guidelines for NGO partners – revised version September 2005
D. Possibilities for boosting their attractiveness include a practical demonstration of the project at work (where suitable). The following are examples of the kind of event that could be organised.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). In either case.2. PUBLIC EVENTS
Various kinds of event are possible. such an event may be suitable for the inauguration of a well in a flood-prone village. It should not be too extravagant or ‘flashy’.(a) of the Guidelines) are also encouraged. a display or performance by a local cultural group. the partner may organise a formal opening ceremony. care is needed to ensure that the event is in keeping with the humanitarian nature of the operation. 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 relief agencies have completed their task and longer term development is now under way”). there would be significant LRRD elements involved (i. it is a good idea to have more than just ‘speechmaking’ at events staged in the project location. in the local language where appropriate.
in the capital city of the country of operation. Such productions may be part of a wider information campaign (that may include written materials/promotional items etc. cultural or recreational activities organised for beneficiaries. the themes to be covered in the production and the likely interviewees.g.) For all videos produced under a Commission-funded humanitarian project (under the visibility heading. partners should explain where the funding comes from. A key aim should be to obtain expressions of interest (and. (d) Events outside the project area (e. if possible. • Interactive events for particular target groups (such as children) highlighting the humanitarian issue covered by the project – with wider publicity envisaged.Guidelines for NGO partners – revised version September 2005
(c) Other events at the project location during the implementation period Any social. and the partner should therefore have a proper plan for the utilisation of the product. During these activities. • 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). or in Europe) Possibilities here include: • Photo exhibitions featuring the project’s achievements.such as meetings and dialogue with local authorities and traditional and religious leaders. Community events can also include more low-profile but effective activities regularly carried out by partners to increase local awareness . drawing/painting workshops or puppet shows for children in hospitals etc. Professional productions are often expensive.
2. The Humanitarian Aid DG may also support audiovisual productions intended for wider dissemination. however. with a list of intended recipients. 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. a proper distribution plan is needed. AUDIOVISUAL PRODUCTIONS
Audiovisual productions featuring projects can be an effective way of communicating humanitarian messages and publicising the work of the partner and of the Commission. Examples include sports events for teenagers. These are an effective way of being directly visible to the beneficiaries and can attract media attention. • 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
. commitments) from TV stations with a view to ensuring that the programme will be broadcast. without their actually being broadcast. In this case. for example to schools.
The Commission is entitled to use or reproduce. highlighting the project. Where Commission-funded humanitarian projects are being featured. regardless of their race.
. straight to victims. 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.
3. 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.g. Partners must take particular care to meet the requirements of the first indent of Section C. this should be stated clearly in the commentary (e.6 of the Guidelines (application of the principle of impartiality that applies to the content of all information products financed by the DG). “funding for the project comes from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department”). Publications may be produced for various target audiences including beneficiaries. PRINT PUBLICATIONS
Leaflets and brochures may be produced under the visibility line of a financing agreement. • 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 creation of a hyperlink between the DG’s visual identity and its website. religion and political beliefs. Aid is channelled impartially. and populations in the country where the operation is being implemented (using local languages where necessary) as well as European readerships. 3 VHS copies and a Betacam version (and a MPEG version where possible) should be sent to the ECHO Information Unit.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. videos produced by a partner under a financing agreement. wholly or in part.
a schools competition).
. It may also be in the context of a proposed photo exhibition. we recommend. websites or other publications produced by the partner). 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.Guidelines for NGO partners – revised version September 2005
5. 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. city/region. WEBSITES AND PAGES
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. In contracts with photographers funded by the Humanitarian Aid DG. explicit permission should be given to the DG (and. advertising etc). 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. country. This can be in support of other information activities (images for leaflets. 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. Where funding is sought for a photo exhibition (covering the costs of the photographer. PHOTOGRAPHS/PHOTO EXHIBITIONS
Visibility funding can be used to employ professional photographers to cover Commission-funded humanitarian operations. 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. 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. 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. project). • the DG visual identity must be prominently displayed. venue. the NGO must show that the action is likely to have a sufficiently high impact to justify the cost.
g. a proportion of the funding may be used to employ staff with particular expertise in the field (e. They may be envisaged in the context of an opening or closing event as mentioned earlier.
7. INFORMATION STAFF
Where a substantial information activity or a series of activities are envisaged under an operational agreement. the visual identity should be included on the plaque. These should be produced in the local language.
.Guidelines for NGO partners – revised version September 2005
6. COMMEMORATIVE PLAQUES
Permanent commemorative plaques are an effective way of acknowledging Commission involvement in the rehabilitation of permanent structures such as hospitals or schools. an events organiser. web designer or writer/editor). The plaque must contain the following sentence: This (name of structure) was funded by the European Commission through its Humanitarian Aid department Where feasible.
Since 1992. • In any relevant publication (brochure. involving funding from the visibility line of an operational agreement. event programme etc). the Red Cross/Crescent movement and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). ethnic group. clothing. sanitation. age. medical provisions. religion. The funds are spent on goods and services such as food. water supplies. Presentational texts/messages
The Humanitarian Aid DG is keen to communicate key messages in all the information activities that it supports. nationality or political affiliation. the DG has two “presentational texts” to be used wherever possible. A list of such message is provided at point 2(b) of the Guidelines. the Commission works with 200 operational partners. shelter. 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. it provided (amount – latest available figure) for humanitarian programmes. including specialised United Nation agencies. In addition to these. Long text The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department is under the direct responsibility of Commissioner (name). Support went to projects in (number) countries. regardless of their race.
. In (year). The Commission also funds disaster preparedness and mitigation projects in regions prone to natural catastrophes. The European Commission is one of the biggest sources of humanitarian aid in the world. gender.Guidelines for NGO partners – revised version September 2005
E. are examples of where this text should be used: • As a box article supplied to journalists receiving funding to write about the project. This does not include the aid given separately by the EU’s 25 Member States. The following situations. • On a panel at a photo exhibition. emergency repairs and mine-clearing. In the area of humanitarian aid.
regardless of their race. religion. Examples include: • Display panels at project locations • As a box on web pages featuring projects • Leaflets on projects
. straight to victims. nationality or political affiliation. Aid is channelled impartially. ethnic group. gender. age. This short version should be used where insufficient space is available for the long version.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.
Concrete examples of successful communication actions
Reports by TVE2 on the Palestinian Territories. tee-shirts. UNHCR schools project in France and selected German Länder The UN High Commissioner for Refugees. In addition to the flight. 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 campaign focused on the key challenges facing young African refugees. the broadcaster provided suitable visibility for the Commission. 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. Flights for children on Schuman day in Nairobi On 9 May 2002 (Schuman Day).
. including interviews with a DG field expert and the Commission representative in the Palestinian Territories. ECHO’s Nairobi regional office organised short trips on ECHO Flight for orphans and other children living in homes in the region. and bags as well as information about the humanitarian work of the Commission. While ACH and ECHO had little control over the end product. the children received baseball caps. radio and newspaper). From a communication point of view.Guidelines for NGO partners – revised version September 2005
F. From a visibility standpoint. the main purpose of the initiative was to generate media coverage. The educational pack was launched in June and was disseminated in schools. This project was funded under the visibility line of an operational agreement with UNHCR. Some of the reports were also broadcast around the world by TVE’s satellite channel. with significant inputs from the information unit of the Humanitarian Aid DG (ECHO 7). Through personal testimonials from young refugees. on the UNHCR’s response and on the role of the Commission as a humanitarian donor. This was achieved locally (through TV. working with the UN agency. Transport and accommodation for the film crew and ACH HQ staff were paid for under the visibility line of the operational agreement. the operation was therefore highly cost-effective. during evening news programme watched by millions of viewers. developed and implemented a campaign aimed at raising awareness in schools in France and three German länder on some of the most serious protection-related issues affecting young refugees in Africa. in partnership with Acción contra el Hambre (ACH) and the Commission A series of five short reports was shown on Spain’s second public TV channel in February 2004.
in the EP’s debating chamber. • Presentations in plenary. This was a large-scaled. Youth Solidarity Day in Brussels In January 2004. The Commission funded 50% of the cost of the action through the ECHO awarenessraising grant facility (no longer in use). A BBC journalist who lost a limb in a mine explosion in Iraq spoke about his experience. the ECHO office in Belgrade provided equipment for the first-ever Serbian team to take part in the Special Olympics. ACF set up a mock “feeding centre”. gave the Commission good visibility in the Serbian media as well as highlighting disability issues. by various speakers (high
. 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. jointly organised by the Commission and the EP. 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. The main ‘cost’. Belgian Red Cross ran a family tracing exercise). 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). “Landmines Experience Media Day” by MAG in the UK This awareness-raising event. radio and the local press. • A press conference. was attended by a group of around 30 young people from local schools. staged in Leeds (UK). funded through the field office. was absorbed by the ECHO Flight budget (using ‘spare’ flying hours in the contract with the air service company). 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. and to give a fitting conclusion to its long years of support for people with disabilities in the region. The activity. The project was extremely well conceived with a view to attracting local media attention with positive results on TV. for the flights. 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.Guidelines for NGO partners – revised version September 2005
The activity was funded through the regional office. Equipment for Serbian participants at the 2003 Special Olympics in Ireland To mark the end of Commission humanitarian aid activities in the Balkans.
Extensive coverage was obtained. Commission and HCR). using service contracts under the information budget of the ECHO information unit. Animation was provided by a well-known TV presenter. • 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. and the Commission. which provided the venue and covered transport and accommodation for the participants. The event was covered throughout the day by numerous TV and radio crews and print journalists. most notably in the home regions of the participating schools.Guidelines for NGO partners – revised version September 2005
level EP. partners etc. The text ‘adopted’ was presented to the EP President.
. This included contracts with partners for the interactive modules. The project was funded jointly by the EP.