Key agencies meet to discuss importance of communications during a crisis

January 27, 2023

Preparation is vital for when communicating during a crisis, as seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo: UNDP

Suva, Fiji - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji, via the Fiji Police Force Support Project, has conducted a one-day workshop on communicating in a crisis. 

The workshop and its subsequent learnings will ensure that Fiji Police and its media team – along with representatives from the National Disaster Management Office, Ministry of Health and Medical Services of Fiji, and Fiji Airports – are better prepared should a pandemic occur once again, or another similar crisis strike where effective communications are required to keep communities well informed.  

Since the onset of COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, populations and communities the world over have been hit with a higher degree of uncertainty, greater stress, emotional disruption, and mental health challenges. The dissemination of reliable, accurate and timely information has never been more critical, with misinformation and disinformation flooding many of the online environments in which we find ourselves in daily. 

Numerous key stakeholders across Government led the way when it came to online communication and information sharing throughout the COVID-19 crisis, using large social media audiences to share key messages, vital information and to demystify various pieces of misinformation and disinformation.

The workshop will see participants better prepared to communicate during any future pandemic, or crisis.

Photo: UNDP

Participants from Fiji Police, Health and Medical Services, and Fiji Airports met to discuss communicating in a crisis.

Photo: UNDP

UNDP Programme Manager, Rustam Pulatov, said the workshop would help frontline organisations to be more proactive, rather than reactive, in terms of their communication with the public.  

"Organisations must set aside time, effort, and resources to formulate a well-thought-out, strategic plan that frames a clear vision for the future. Ensuring the right people receive the right messages from a trusted source, at the right time, will help combat eroding institutional trust and encourage positive rather than negative behaviours," Mr. Pulatov said. 

Corporal Manueli Tumoi of the Fiji Police Media Unit said that it remains vital for the force to be a trusted and reliable source of information.  

"During a crisis, effective communication is essential. Key stakeholders who the public trust need to communicate with transparency and empathy consistently and this workshop will see us better equipped with the skills needed should we need to communicate in a time of crisis in the future," Corporal Tumoi said.  

The workshop was supported by the New Zealand Government as part of the Fiji Police Force Support Project, strengthening early access to justice in criminal proceedings, and ensuring a survivor-centred approach to investigations.  

Through the Fiji Police Support Project, UNDP and partners aim to contribute to Fiji’s sustainable development. The project has a focus on Sustainable Development Goal 16, which promotes just, peaceful and inclusive societies, and Goal 5, which aims to achieve gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls.    

For further media enquiries please contact: 

Rustam Pulatov, Programme Manager, UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji; (P) +679 3312 500; (E);