HCR is a founding member of the First Response Radio (FRR) network and currently supports international FRR coordination and advises on monitoring and evaluation. FRR is a network of local teams in disaster prone countries who are equipped and trained to set up and run a temporary FM radio station for affected communities within 72hrs of a disaster.


  • FRR fills the gap in radio provision until local stations restore normal operations, and provides humanitarian content that informs and empowers local community members.

  • FRR teams are made up of workers from radio broadcasters, NGOs and government partners and have been working in disaster areas since the tsunami of 2004.

  • FRR teams use the Ranger studio in a suitcase (pictured), produced by Randall Concepts. This is a robust, portable and simple to use studio setup which speeds up the time to get on air in uncertain environments.

  • HCR Pakistan is the host organisation for FRR Pakistan, developing a disaster response capacity across the country.

  • HCR supports FRR’s contribution to CDAC Network initiatives to improve and mainstream Communication and Community Engagement (CCE) in disaster responses.

Key HCR contributions in 2019:

Within 2 weeks of Cyclone Idai, March 2019, HCR got Radio Buzi back on air with FRR equipment and a condensed version of FRR training. The local station began straightaway to broadcast lifesaving information and advice to support early recovery of community members in Buzi. Read more about the Cyclone Idai response

HCR supported FRR to complete an evaluation of health impact due to disaster response radio in Bihar following the floods in 2017.


HCR developed the Rapid Response Radio Unit (RRRU) concept in collaboration with two other organisations between 1999-2004. The RRRU became independent in 2012 and was renamed First Response Radio. First Response and HCR continue to contribute to each other's activities in training design, training delivery, deployment and research and evaluation.

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