Section: Border
Support: Protection Capital: Human Implementer: Hellenic Red Cross Funder: Emergency Appeal

Audio information systems that provide hyperlocal information on the services in an area.

Case study

The Walkie-Talkie system introduced in 2015, provides hyperlocal and actionable audio information to migrants in camps. The high influx and turnover of migrants in Greek camps meant that there was consistently a high number of people who needed fast and easily digestible information. To make it very easy for every person in the camp to navigate the landscape and services, an audio system, called the walkie-talkie system, loudly broadcasts 20 minute audio-messages in various languages. The audio programmes are saved on USB sticks and played in the registration camps on the island of Lesbos. The audio system describes the agencies in the camp, the key services they offer (with a focus on the National Society), and answers frequently asked questions. Audio was particularly important because migrants lacked the time to read written texts. The system is also used to provide special programmes on issues relevant to migrants; for example, a short programme discusses managing stress.

To make the audio broadcast engaging and accessible, the support of radio stations was enlisted during the design. For example, a catchy jingle is used at the beginning to make announcements sound similar to a radio programme. So far the system has been broadcast to thousands of migrants, and the general perception of the migrants has been very positive. There are plans to expand the use of the system to the new camps on the Greek mainland as well as to other locations in the islands. In addition, ten further special thematic programmes are being planned to target small groups in a quiet environment where people attending the group can listen to the programme and engage afterwards in group discussion.

Other examples
Assessment of impact and reach

During three months at the start of 2016, an estimated 20,000 – 25,000 people in total were exposed to the programme; an average of ~300 persons a day listened the programme.

Cost per beneficiary
Alignment with policy

Design. [P1] Focuses on hyperlocal informational needs of migrants entering camps as well special themes of interest for migrants. 

Implementation. [P6] The system links migrants to the services of several actors, with a focus on Red Cross Red Crescent services.

Response. [P9] Responds to displaced people.

  • The constantly changing dynamics and layout of the camp means that information quickly becomes outdated.
  • At some sites, camp management did not allow the audio.
Lessons learned
  • It was important to engage local media experts to help design the content and make it engaging.
  • Thematic programmes are more sustainable as they do not need to constantly change.
  • It is ideal to have migrant voices from camps on the programmes to promote peer-to-peer information sharing.
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