Information gap

The issue

Governments are producing more information about disaster risk and their resilience-building initiatives, but this information isn’t reaching communities.

62% of community members cannot easily access any information about the risks they face, or plans by their local government to build resilience.

Key facts

Disability, language and choice of communication channel hinder access to information.

Without vital information communities are prevented from fully participating in disaster risk reduction processes and activities.

Views from the Frontline data suggests that communities are not accessing information, even if it is there.


“In case of heavy rainfall, we get information beforehand from the TV and from loudspeaker
announcements. We are fully prepared.”

— Manorama Behra, Odisha, India


Getting the information sharing process right is crucial to ensuring that those most at risk benefit from the activities being implemented by the state.

Many governments are increasing their efforts to engage citizens, and the use of new technologies can enable more systematic sharing of disaster risk assessments, plans and activities.

For example, the Pacific Climate Change Science Program in Timor-Leste brought communities, local partners, INGOs and governments together to harness scientific and local knowledge for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

As a result, community members now have more knowledge and access to information about the local impact of climate change. And community and local government plans are better able to incorporate scientific and local knowledge, leading to improved livelihoods.4

But these efforts are only effective if people can and do access the information.

For example, in Nigeria, 75% of people don’t feel they receive any information from the government on disaster risk reduction actions. Conversely almost 60% of government representatives feel that information is shared with the community.

In Vietnam, community members and local governments both feel quite positive about the level of information sharing. But focus groups highlight that topic-specific information gaps also exist.

Information from government in Nigeria mostly relates to disaster preparedness and early warnings, with little about risk reduction and resilience building.

Views from the Frontline data suggests that communities are not accessing information, even if it is there.

Many people may be unaware that information exists. And there are clearly barriers to access. Governments often communicate in official languages, which may not be spoken by everyone. People with disabilities experience more difficulty in accessing information than other groups.


All Views from the Frontline data is publicly available to explore online – with options to disaggregate by country, respondent type and more. You can also find out about the survey methodology.

References and photos

Photo (top): Local radio can be an importance source of information for many communities. Credit: Nicholas Githiri

Photo and quote (above): Manorama Behra, 38, teaches children a song in a rural child care centre in Jayasankhpur, Odisha, India. She says: “I used to attend the Palli Sabha (local authority) meetings, held every month. For several years we have not been getting any notice about these meeting. We do not have any information regarding government plans or actions.” Credit: Sarika Gulati/GNDR