Recovery, Renewal, Resilience

Lessons for Resilience

Consider the focus of communication strategies to encourage behavioural changes
Strategic communications

Social distancing and restricted movements are important measures to control transmission of COVID-19. But the efficacy of this may be improved by increased focus on targeted information that focuses on behavioral change. Persistent spikes in COVID-19 cases has promoted debate about the effectiveness of restricted movement as a preventative measure in and of itself. Lessons from Malaysia suggest that increased attention should be paid to communication strategies that focus on:

  • Instilling new norms into people's daily lives through consistent and clear messaging from health officials
  • Specific risk behaviours, preventive behaviours, illness behaviours, and compliant behaviours associated with cultural values, perceptions, belief, and attitudes
  • Feedback from the public to improve and refine the communication process
  • Reinforcing desired behavioural changes through continued behavioural change interventions, namely, capacity building, policy implementation and enforcement, resource mobilization and participation of various players including government, nongovernmental organizations, civil society groups and the target population
  • Enhanced localized community messaging that is place specific
  • Provision of regular, transparent data to the public in easy to understand formats. Do not decrease the level of open, detailed government information
  • Targeted communications for specific hotspots such as some places of work (e.g. construction sites in Malaysia where infection spread quickly because of working conditions), and through providing guidance to associations, clubs and schools
  • WHO 'Guidelines for Developing Behavioural Change Interventions in the Context of Avian Influenza' has some useful information on developing Behavioural Change Interventions here.
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