Preprint Technical Note Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Strategic Thinking in a Pandemic: A Blueprint for Government-Led National Hygiene Communication Campaigns to Combat COVID-19

Version 1 : Received: 1 May 2020 / Approved: 3 May 2020 / Online: 3 May 2020 (09:05:38 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 1 June 2020 / Approved: 3 June 2020 / Online: 3 June 2020 (05:12:23 CEST)

How to cite: Curtis, V.; Dreibelbis, R.; Sidibe, M.; Cardosi, J.; Sara, J.; Bonell, C.; Mwambuli, K.; Ghosh Moulik, S.; White, S.; Aunger, R. Strategic Thinking in a Pandemic: A Blueprint for Government-Led National Hygiene Communication Campaigns to Combat COVID-19. Preprints 2020, 2020050042 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202005.0042.v1). Curtis, V.; Dreibelbis, R.; Sidibe, M.; Cardosi, J.; Sara, J.; Bonell, C.; Mwambuli, K.; Ghosh Moulik, S.; White, S.; Aunger, R. Strategic Thinking in a Pandemic: A Blueprint for Government-Led National Hygiene Communication Campaigns to Combat COVID-19. Preprints 2020, 2020050042 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202005.0042.v1).

Abstract

Whilst large-scale changes in population behaviour are required to reduce the transmission of the SARS-COV-2 pandemic virus, the emergency context is not conducive to the sort of careful communications planning that would normally be required to meet such a task. Rapid strategic communications planning in a pandemic by governments is, however, possible and necessary. Steps include setting up a dedicated communications task force, mobilising partners and resources, developing a creative brief and theory of change and overseeing the creation, testing, roll out and revision of content. In this short guide we argue that a minimum of strategic planning can be undertaken rapidly, and that good use can be made of simple principles of behaviour change, even during pandemics. Our aim here is to provide a blueprint that governments and their partners, especially in low-income settings, can follow to design, coordinate and resource national communications efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Subject Areas

COVID-19; hand washing; hygiene; behaviour change; communications

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