Social Science, Risk Communication and Community Engagement
Mixing it with the Motards: understanding the needs and concerns of crucial community communicators
July 2019 - Alloya, a town serving a gold mining district in North Kivu is a town that understands trade and business. It is also a town with deep mistrust of Ebola responders. All too often, the belief that the Ebola response is about ‘business’ rather than saving lives, has taken hold.
Marginalised and mistrustful: listening to people who have few reasons to trust outsiders
July 2019 - One of the lessons learned from both this Ebola outbreak and others is that simply providing messages is not enough. Every community needs to have a chance to voice their concerns, be listened to, and have information and action taken that meets their needs.
Report: Strengthening social science capacities in the European Region 2019
20 May 2019 - The second WHO Social Science Interventions (SSIs) training was conducted in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on 10–14 December 2018 and included participants from 11 countries of the WHO European Region. The 24 participants were experts in emergency response and public health communication from ministries of health and emergencies, WHO and partner organizations.
The overall objectives of the Bishkek training were to engage participants in integrating SSIs into health emergency response; establish a roster of experts for emergency preparedness, readiness and response in the Region; and outline SSI plans for the countries.
Social science research projects for the Ebola response in the DRC and neighbouring countries
12 April 2019 - In response to the Ebola outbreak in North Kivu and Ituri provinces, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), WHO and partners have conducted multiple social science investigations in the affected areas and neighbouring countries. Many of these investigations are ongoing.
Thus far, social science research has aimed at better understanding the culture, practices and social experience of the communities affected by Ebola.
Social science training enhances community engagement in health emergencies in 11 countries of the European Region
6 February 2019 - Under the IHR 2005 and the PIP framework, WHO provides support to Member States to improve national capacity to engage communities through enhanced use of social science-based interventions before, during and after health emergencies. The SocialNET training, a global initiative of WHO, was the first of its kind in the European Region and was held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on 10-14 December 2018. It strengthens WHO/Europe's efforts to build skills in emergency risk communication and community engagement as part of the ERC five-step capacity-building package.
Risk communication and community engagement preparedness and readiness framework: Ebola response in North Kivu
12 October 2018 - Risk communication and community engagement is an essential part of any disease outbreak response. Risk communication in the context of an Ebola outbreak refers to real time exchange of information, opinion and advice between frontline responders and people who are faced with the threat of Ebola to their survival, health, economic or social wellbeing.
WHO launches cutting-edge package to scale up risk communication capacity in the European Region in 5 steps
17 September 2018 - A new package is now available to guide countries of the European Region in establishing systems and plans for effective emergency risk communication tailored to their specific contexts. The package is the result of a pioneering project launched by WHO/Europe in March 2017.
The first phase of the ERC project, financed by the Federal Ministry of Health of Germany, focused on working closely with 13 countries of the Region to pilot the 5-step capacity-building package at different stages.
Preparedness and response
WHO Health Emergencies Programme
WHO has an essential role to play in supporting Member States to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies with public health consequences.
Disease Outbreak News
IHR Joint External Evaluations
The JEE is a voluntary, collaborative, multisectoral process to assess country capacity to prevent, detect and rapidly respond to public health risks.
Pandemic risk communication
Publications and guidance
WHO guidance on risk communication
Behaviour change communication
- Best practices for communicating with the public during an outbreak
- WHO outbreak communication guidelines
Effective communication in emergencies
Tools and resources
Ebola virus disease
- Risk communication and community engagement considerations for Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Risk Communication and Community Engagement Preparedness and Readiness Framework: Ebola Response in the Democratic Republic of Congo in North Kivu