Improving communication, engagement and accountability in all we do.

Descriptive text in here please

Community engagement and accountability (CEA) is an approach to Red Cross Red Crescent programming and operations. It is supported by a set of activities that help put communities at the centre of what we do, by integrating communication and participation throughout the programme cycle or operation.

CEA is the process of and commitment to providing timely, relevant and actionable life-saving and life-enhancing information to communities. It is about using the most appropriate communication approaches to listen to communities’ needs, feedback and complaints, ensuring they can actively participate and guide Red Cross Red Crescent actions. CEA supports those involved in programmes and operations to adopt innovative approaches to better understand and engage with people and communities and help them address unhealthy and unsafe practices. It maximizes the Red Cross Red Crescent’s unique relationship with the community to help them speak out about the issues that affect them and influence decision and policy-makers to implement positive changes.

What is CEA?

Minimum actions

The CEA Guide

The CEA Toolkit

Community Engagement & Accountability in the COVID-19 response

The COVID-19 outbreak and response have been accompanied by a massive “infodemic” that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.  Local actors like the Red Cross Red Crescent and communities have great agency and ability to act and mobilize critical community actions to ensure communities are at the centre of preparedness and response approaches and promote understanding and uptake of biomedical solutions.

Closing the gap: A strategy to strengthen community engagement and accountability in Africa

Why are we still not engaging communities the way we should? What are the barriers that are preventing more meaningful community participation? How can we work together to tackle them? This strategy helps to answer these questions by providing Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners with a clear and coordinated approach to strengthening accountability to communities across Africa. It provides actionable steps for leadership, programme, operational and support staff.

The community engagement hub

The community engagement hub is a platform for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, designed to help us to put communities at the heart of what we do. The hub offers a range of learning materials, tools and guidance to support you to mainstream community engagement and accountability within your work. It also offers a place to exchange ideas, share advice or connect with others to learn best practice from the active community of Red Cross Red Crescent staff and volunteers committed to integrating communication and participation throughout our work. We are very excited to support the community engagement Hub, which you can access by clicking on the banner below.

Recent additions to the CEA resources library


Trust is needed to ask personal questions to people when they are at their most vulnerable. Trust to let strangers treat your desperately ill loved ones. Trust that the life-saving information we share is real and should be acted on. Trust to welcome u …

14 February 2020

Trust is needed to ask personal questions to people when they are at their most vulnerable. Trust to let strangers treat your desperately ill loved ones. Trust that the life-saving information we share is real and should be acted on. Trust to welcome u …

14 February 2020

The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is firmly rooted in communities and has made commitments to be accountable to those it serves. IFRC’s Strategy 2030 proposes an urgent shift of leadership and decision making to the most local level—placing commu …

10 February 2020

CEA in Action

In focus: World Radio Day

Radio is a powerful tool to engage and help affected communities across the world. Read more about our work.

In focus: Ebola

Community engagement has been central to responding the Ebola emergency in West Africa and to keep communities safe and the virus contained. 

In focus: Migration helps migrants find local support and provides tips on how to keep safe and healthy.

In focus: TERA

The TERA system provides life-saving information when and where it is needed during an emergency or crisis.

News stories

Stories and photos collected by Aija Kuparinen  |  Written by Corrie Butler You can’t help but draw nearer to the beckoning drum base of music in the distance and bellowing laughter echoing through the streets. Coming closer, you can see people dancing …

11 February 2019

Communities living along the porous borders of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) remain at high risk of the spread of Ebola. Thousands cross each day to sell and buy goods, tend to their farm and visit family and friends. With the epicenter of DRC’s largest Ebola outbreak only 100 kilometers away from the Ugandan border, it is crucial to contain and stop the virus from spreading.

26 January 2019

New tool for technicians, coordinators and volunteers that implement health projects within communities.

29 August 2018