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Coordinating quality of information for effective response

Case study

Case study

Case study taken from the Start Network Impact Report 2016.

Location: Athens, Greece

Project: European Refugee Response

Programme: Start Response


The ERR was a response to the humanitarian needs arising from the rapid and unprecedented influx of refugees from fragile and conflict-affected states like Syria and Iraq.  During the first tranche, Start Response, working through 17 members and their partners, responded to the needs of refugees arriving onto the island of Chios. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) took the lead in information provision and became the coordinator for this work. For the second tranche, Start Response, working through nine members (and their partners) responded to the needs of refugees in Athens. Translators without Borders, a recipient of funds from Start Network members, took the lead in improving and maintaining the quality of information provided to refugees.


In Chios, the NRC set up a Whatsapp group so that all organisations (12 to start with) were coordinated in their activities and the information they were receiving. This simple technological platform ensured that efforts were not duplicated and coordination was more seamless. In Athens, Translators without Borders worked on standardised glossaries in Arabic, Parsi and Greek, available to any translator working on this response. A sub working group for translators is responsible for refining the glossaries. Through this process of coordinating translation, refugees not only received more consistent and reliable information but the cost of providing this coordinated service was considerably reduced (£19,575 rather than USD 105,000/£70,000).

Read more in the Start Network Impact Report 2016.

Keep reading:

Start Response European refugee crisis

  • by Deepti Sastry