Novel coronavirus (93) Communication Initiative

6 March, 2020

Dear HIFA colleagues,

The message below is forwarded from the Communication Initiative. You can read and respond online here:


The Communication Initiative Networks

convening the communication and media development, social and behaviour change community

Group: The Drum Beat Networks

New Thread: (DrumBeatnet] Coronavirus - Communication Response?

Please click to review, comment and access any attachments

From: Warren Feek

The world is focused on and unnerved by the spread of COVID-19 (the coronavirus). It is a major health, economic, and rights issue now, and things could get much, much worse. This Jonathan Quick interview [ ] in the Guardian provides an excellent update The speed of the spread of the virus and the urgency of the response is such that this article could be way out of date by the time you read this! There is no vaccine, and there will not be one for at least 18 months, according to Dr. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the United States. The reliability of the tests is uncertain. The incubation period is 2 to 14 days - maybe longer. So, this is a real population and people issue. That means that an effective communication response is of the highest imperative.

In that context, Dr. Quick in his Guardian interview outlines, from his scientist position, some of the areas of focus required for an accelerated response that is in keeping with the nature of this major health challenge - facilitate much higher levels of public engagement, improve levels of trust, disseminate "dispassionate, evidence-based information", and refrain from "misleading" populations. Related to these and other requirements, our common field of work has many decades of practical experience, which have resulted in a rich body of change theories, planning models, strategic programming, research results and data, and resource materials.

COVID-19 (the coronavirus) is a really difficult and challenging issue. As an integral part of the response we have much to offer and achieve, As we face these challenges we could all learn from the thinking and insights of other people in this network. So, could we please ask you to share your analysis and recommendations.

Drawing from your communication, social change, behaviour change, media for development and/or community engagement experience, knowledge, skill, and insight ...

... in your assessment, what are the three strategic and/or programming priorities for an effective response to COVID-19?

(Please either reply by email or click on this link above and below this post "Please click to review, comment and access any attachments" and post on the platform. )

1. ?

2. ?

3. ?

Many thanks for sharing in support of advancing all of our work. Please either reply by email or click on this link above and below this post "Please click to review, comment and access any attachments" and post on the platform. Should this generate lots of sharing and ideas please note that we will compile responses and share back with links to comments every couple of days, rather than email individual contributions.


Warren Feek [Executive Director, Communication Initiative]


Best wishes, Neil

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA:

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: