INTERACT: The INTERnAtional network on Crisis Translation

Access to timely and accurate information is known to be of crucial importance for disaster prevention and management. It has been proposed that timely and accurate information in humanitarian response is a human right and as important as medical supplies, food and water. There is awareness of the fact that disasters are frequently transboundary in nature and that affected populations may be multicultural and multi linguistic. Yet, the importance of the role of translation in providing this information is understudied and under recognised. The negative consequences of poor or no communication in disasters may include increased injury or death. Lack of communication can also mean increased vulnerability of minority communities. Recognising the need for translation will reduce these negative consequences. By carrying out collaborative research and training, the International Network in Crisis Translation sought to address this gap so that translation of information is a default feature in disaster prevention and management.

The INTERACT project has raised awareness globally of the importance of translating essential information before, during, and after a crisis. The project has produced open course material for helping to train community translators and post-editors to contribute during crisis-related events. There have been over 700 views of this content since its launch in March 2020. The team continues to promote their recommendations for policy makers as well as our recommendations on ethics. The most important results from this project were the following:

– an increased awareness of the need for multilingual information in crisis communication, from North to South
– an established academic field called “”Crisis Translation”” that did not exist prior to this project
– creation of a cross-disciplinary network of expertise that did not exist prior to the project
– multiple academic and public reports on the topic.

Learn more:            

  • Start date: 1 April 2017
  • PI: Sharon O'Brien - Coordinator
  • Acronym: INTERACT
  • Title: The INTERnAtional network on Crisis Translation
  • Website:
  • Grant ID: 734211
  • Overall budget: €279,000
Project Contact
  • Sharon O'Brien