Our latest thoughts, analyses and materials on the behavioural aspect of the coronavirus, Covid-19, and how to tackle its spread.
Last Thursday, the World Health Organization put out a clear statement: ‘behavioural insights are valuable to inform the planning of appropriate pandemic response measures’. We agree, and it’s great to see that the WHO has put out a specific behavioural insights tool for COVID-19 and is recruiting for expert advisors in the field.
- Webinar: Applying behavioural insights to COVID-19 comms
In part, this has been a long time coming, as the WHO’s website makes clear. The WHO’s long years of experience had taught it that the containment of epidemics, particularly when a vaccine or treatment is months or years away, is as much behavioural as medical. Ebola famously showed how important anthropology was to understanding how the disease was transmitted. Twinned with psychology, it also gave clues as to how one social habit, the urge to embrace, could be replaced with another (the ‘ebola’ elbow touch).
Similarly, the WHO has come to understand the critical role that can be played by effective communication, such as how to wash hands, and the importance of key messengers. The latter aren’t necessarily Presidents, or even medics. In the DRC, for example, it was the motards they had to convince (the trusted local taxi drivers).
Read More: Latest insights