Great Lakes: IRIN Questionnaire Report, 11/11/97

Great Lakes: IRIN Questionnaire Report, 11/11/97

U N I T E D N A T I O N S Department of Humanitarian Affairs Integrated Regional Information Network for Central and Eastern Africa

Tel: +254 2 622147 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail:

IRIN Great Lakes' Questionnaire - Results - 11 November

On 12 September 1997, IRIN Great Lakes invited its subscribers to complete a questionnaire designed to reveal weaknesses in the current service and target areas for improvement. The response was most encouraging with more than 20 percent of the current subscriber base replying by the cut-off date of 30 September. Thank you.

Since then, IRIN has conducted a major analysis of the response and, where possible, enhanced its services to take account of the views expressed.

IRIN's subscribers are made up of NGOs, UN agencies, donor bodies and governments, academic institutions, media groups, missionary organisations, a handful of private enterprises and a growing number of interested individuals. The number of subscribers is increasing each week and it is estimated more than 10,000 people worldwide now make use of the service. IRIN's output is archived and indexed on the World Wide Web courtesy of DHA's ReliefWeb: ( with which it works closely. In June this year IRIN set up a complementary service, IRIN West Africa (, to cover developments on the west of the continent. There are also separate plans to enhance this service.

This was the third such questionnaire since the Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN) was established by the UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs in November 1995 to provide information on emergency situations in the Great Lakes region. It found that IRIN's core product - the daily and weekly Updates - had become essential reading for subscribers in more than 40 countries, but it also revealed a strong demand for more information on a wider range of issues from a broader geographical area.

In particular, the survey found strong support for more in-depth reports on specific topics than it is possible to contain within the current format of the daily Update and weekly Round-up. The size and content of current formats received approval ratings of almost 90 percent.

While IRIN Great Lakes' existing output also scored high approval ratings overall, more than half of those replying said they wanted IRIN to cover a broader geographical area. Just over 40 percent said they wanted more special reports. More specifically 43 percent said they wanted more background information and 58 percent more analysis of current trends and their likely impact.

The questionnaire also revealed a lack of knowledge of the full scope of the existing IRIN service. Almost 80 percent said they wanted to know more about IRIN and its services. A progress report will shortly be available to subscribers, detailing all IRIN's activities and plans for further growth.

The results of a parallel survey of subscribers of IRIN's French service almost exactly mirrored those of the English survey. IRIN's daily Updates and weekly Round-ups and special reports will therefore continue to be available in French.

A small, but significant number of subscribers expressed a desire to receive only the weekly Round-ups and special reports.

Consequently, from this week IRIN plans to introduce the following changes:

IRIN Great Lakes will change its name to IRIN Central and Eastern Africa (CEA) and will continue to produce both daily and weekly reports in the existing format. While continuing to focus on the Great Lakes area, the change of name reflects the fact IRIN will cover significant events elsewhere in the region.

IRIN-CEA's priority will remain humanitarian issues, but it will also continue with its current policy of boosting coverage of social, political, environmental and economic developments which contribute to the context in which complex emergencies are set.

In addition, IRIN-CEA will seek to produce more special features, such as recent reports on Congo-Brazzaville, Angola, and conflict in the Kivus.

Subscribers are invited to subscribe to one or more of the following services.

English service:

irin-cea-weekly - weekly Round-ups and all special reports irin-cea-updates - daily Updates irin-cea-extra - news releases, communiques, non-IRIN reports irin-cea-graphics - using IRIN's specially-developed software, a new mailing list has been established to deliver maps and graphics to those without access to the World Wide Web. Items can be delivered to large numbers of subscribers by e-mail and fax simultaneously.

French service:

irin-cea-francais-hebdo - weekly Round-ups and all special reports translated from English into French

irin-cea-francais-bulletins - daily Updates translated from English into French

irin-cea-extra - news release communiques, non-IRIN reports mainly in English

irin-cea-graphics - maps and graphics

Nairobi, 11 November 1997 [Ends]

[The material contained in this communication comes to you via IRIN, a UN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: for more information or subscriptions. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts should include attribution to the original sources. IRIN reports are archived on the WWW at: or can be retrieved automatically by sending e-mail to Mailing list: irin-cea-weekly]

Date: Tue, 11 Nov 1997 17:33:54 -0300 (GMT+3) From: UN DHA IRIN - Great Lakes <> Subject: Great Lakes: IRIN Questionnaire Report 11 Nov 97 97.11.11 Message-ID: <>

Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D

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