COVID-19 Planning Guide for Adapting Risk Communication and Community Engagement as Public Health and Social Measures Shift: With Safety Tips for Conducting Community Meetings

This document includes key Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) considerations during shifting lockdown measures, safety measures for conducting in-person community meetings, and a template that brings both of these considerations together to help agencies adapt their RCCE approaches as these measures shift.

Appendices include key RCCE considerations for different community and humanitarian contexts, and free downloadable images and a flyer that can be used to promote safe community meetings.

All are invited to share either the live version or download a PDF version.

Source: COVID-19 Planning Guide for Adapting Risk Communication and Community Engagement as Public Health and Social Measures Shift: With Safety Tips for Conducting Community Meetings

    How Might We Use Communication to Encourage Physical Distancing in Developing Countries

    As countries around the world wrestle with the issue of how best to contain the virus, physical distancing (or social distancing, as it is often referred to) has emerged as one of the leading public health recommendations for limiting infection rates. Developed and developing countries alike are adopting this as a policy, as seen through a succession of state- and country-wide ‘lockdowns’ and ban on mass gatherings.

    Physical distancing is essential in areas where public health systems are weaker and access to healthcare is more limited. And yet, population density in informal settlements, low literacy levels and poor WASH facilities mean that it is in precisely these areas that physical distancing is hard to achieve.

    This guide is the product of a one-hour virtual working session, hosted by The Curve and attended by leading practitioners, donors and civil servants working in developing countries across the world. It outlines 9 pragmatic ways in which public health communications might promote both the understanding of, and adherence to, physical distancing measures in developing countries.

    This document is not intended to be an exhaustive study or a complete answer to the question. Rather, it is a contribution to a vibrant sector-wide discussion including publications and perspectives by the Hygiene Hub and many others. The recommendations are a set of pragmatic advice based on the contributors’ experience that is intended to complement and invigorate the broader conversation.

    Source: How Might We Use Communication to Encourage Physical Distancing in Developing Countries

      Practical Guidance for Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) for Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Migrants, and Host Communities Particularly Vulnerable to COVID-19 Pandemic

      This practical guidance is designed to assist program specialists to implement COVID-19 RCCE activities for and with refugees, IDPs, migrants and host communities vulnerable to the pandemic.

      The guidance highlights key challenges and barriers faced by these people in accessing COVID19 health-related information and presents key considerations and recommendations
      for planning and implementing RCCE activities. The document can be adapted to countries’ specific context and aligned with national response plans for COVID-19 and national RCCE plans.

      Source: Practical Guidance for Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) for Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Migrants, and Host Communities Particularly Vulnerable to COVID-19 Pandemic

        Local Media and Community Engagement in Humanitarian Settings

        In an information climate as complex as that surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, local information plays a vital role in determining how communities respond to public health orders and guidance.

        Alongside the current restrictions we are all subject to, the need for information – especially among vulnerable and marginalized groups – is greater than ever before. People need simple, practical information to protect themselves, their families, and communities . They also need ways to elevate their voices and concerns.

        In this guide, lnternews lays out an approach to community engagement involving a range of mechanisms that are alternatives to face-to-face. Given the current pandemic context, we are required to adapt our trusted Communicating with Communities methodologies to ensure people have access to information that responds directly to their questions and concerns, thus tackling misinformation and dispelling rumors.

        Source: Local Media and Community Engagement in Humanitarian Settings

        • Stijn Aelbers
        • saelbers@internews.org

        COVID-Ready Communication Playbook for Health Professionals

        The team at VitalTalk crowdsourced this playbook to provide some practical advice to health care professionals on how to talk to their patients about some difficult topics related to COVID-19.

        Building on their experience studying and teaching communication they’ve drawn on their networks to crowdsource the challenges and match them with advice from some of the best clinicians they know.

        Source: COVID-Ready Communication Playbook for Health Professionals

          Deciding to Go Out

          This guidance tool, useful for both SBC professionals and the public, reviews important information one should consider before deciding to resume all, or some, of normal activities.

          As communities and businesses are opening, people may be looking for ways to resume some daily activities as safely as possible. While there is no way to ensure zero risk of infection, it is important to understand potential risks and how to adopt different types of prevention measures to protect yourself and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

          Of course, if one has COVID-19, has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or has been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, it is important to stay home and away from other people. When one leaves home and begins to be around others depends on different factors for different situations.

          In general, the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.

          Source: Deciding to Go Out

            Advice on the Use of Masks in the Context of COVID-19

            This document is an update of the guidance published on 6 April 2020 and includes updated scientific evidence relevant to the use of masks for preventing transmission of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as well as practical considerations.

            The main differences from the previous version include the following:

            • Updated information on transmission from symptomatic, pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic people infected with COVID-19, as well as an update of the evidence of all sections of this document
            • New guidance on the targeted continuous use of medical masks by health workers working in clinical areas in health facilities in geographical areas with community transmission1 of COVID-19
            • Updated guidance and practical advice for decisionmakers on the use of medical and non-medical masks by the general public using a risk-based approach
            • New guidance on non-medical mask features and characteristics, including choice of fabric, number and combination of layers, shape, coating and maintenance

            Source: Advice on the Use of Masks in the Context of COVID-19

              Basic Psychosocial Skills: A Guide for COVID-19 Responders

              This Guide aims to help orient people supporting the COVID-19 response to integrate psychosocial support skills into their daily work, thereby making a difference to the well-being of people they come into contact with during the pandemic. More specifically, the Guide is intended for health and social workers; emergency responders; people working in food stores, public transport, funeral parlours and pharmacies; employers and managers; and people who are providing support to vulnerable family members or members of their community.

              The illustrated chapters provide practical advice for taking care of one’s own mental well-being, communicating with empathy, and helping people suffering from stress or severe distress. Case studies and tips to remember are included throughout.

              Source: Basic Psychosocial Skills: A Guide for COVID-19 Responders

              • Tyler Best
              • tylerbest@jhu.edu

              Considerations for School-related Public Health Measures in the Context of COVID-19

              In response to COVID-19, countries around the world have implemented several public health and social measures (PHSM), such as movement restrictions, closure of schools and businesses, and international travel restrictions.

              As the local epidemiology of the disease changes, countries will adjust (i.e. loosen or reinstate) these measures according to the intensity of transmission. WHO has issued guidance on adjusting PHSM while managing the risk of resurgence of cases.2 A series of annexes has been developed to help guide countries through adjusting various public health measures in different contexts. This annex provides considerations for decision-makers and educators on how or when to reopen or close schools in the context of COVID-19. These decisions have important implications for children, parents or caregivers, teachers and other staff, communities, and society at large.3 This document was drafted based a review of available literature, discussion with experts, regional partners and country examples.

              Source: Considerations for School-related Public Health Measures in the Context of COVID-19

                Interim Guidance for Administrators of US K-12 Schools and Child Care Programs to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

                This interim guidance is intended for administrators of public and private child care programs and K-12 schools. Administrators are individuals who oversee the daily operations of child care programs and K-12 schools, and may include positions like child care program directors, school district superintendents, principals, and assistant principals.

                This guidance is intended for administrators at both the school/facility and district level. Why is this guidance being issued? This guidance will help child care programs, schools, and their partners understand how to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 within child care and school communities and facilities. It also aims to help child care programs, schools, and partners react quickly should a case be identified. The guidance includes considerations to help administrators plan for the continuity of teaching and learning if there is community spread of COVID-19.

                Source: Interim Guidance for Administrators of US K-12 Schools and Child Care Programs to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)