COVID-19 Global Risk Communication and Community Engagement Strategy



Ombretta Baggio

«Uptake of protective behaviours and adherence to social measures will continue to be critical even with safe and effective vaccines and treatments. Strengthened RCCE support will be critical to maximize understanding, acceptance and uptake.»

Due to the fact that initial risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) priorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic focused on raising knowledge and awareness, these messages frequently took the form of directives and one-way communication. However, more robust community participation has played a role in disease control and elimination in many countries and will continue to be critical in combatting COVID-19. Building on and replacing the first COVID-19 global RCCE strategy, released in March 2020, this revised version focuses on supporting regional and national responses to identify the most appropriate and effective community engagement approaches for their particular contexts. Reflecting the experiences and views of a range of partners working on RCCE, it is underpinned by a socio-behavioural trends analysis and builds on the learnings from the response to date. The overarching goal of the strategy: that people-centred and community-led approaches are championed widely – resulting in increased trust and social cohesion, and ultimately a reduction in the negative impacts of COVID-19.

This strategy was developed between June to October 2020 and included a series of consultations with global and regional stakeholders. The process and publication was led by the RCCE Collective Service [PDF], a collaborative partnership between RCCE practitioners convened by International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), with support from the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN), and stakeholders from the public health and humanitarian sectors. The RCCE strategy directly supports the United Nations Comprehensive Response to COVID-19 [PDF], which includes WHO’s Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan.

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