COVID-19: Delivering Critical Information and Behaviour Change at Scale

By Henri Habershon, Business Development Manager, Every1Mobile

Every1Mobile is proud to announce the launch of two digital information and behaviour change tools in the fight against coronavirus in Africa. ENDCORONAVIRUS.AFRICA and ENDCORONAVIRUS.CO.KE are interactive one-stop-shops for COVID-19 prevention and management information in English for users across Africa, and Kiswahili for users in Kenya, using WHO guidelines.​ and are interactive one-stop-shops for COVID-19 prevention and management information in English for users across Africa using WHO guidelines, with the first language localised site in kiswahili for Kenya.

Abi Gleek, Our Director of Digital Strategy, will be presenting the sites at the online ICT4D Conference in a session called ICT for COVID-19 Response: Lessons learned from Digital Applications for Disease Monitoring and Preparedness on Tuesday 21st April at 10am EST / 3pm GMT. Please register for the session to see our COVID-19 response first hand.

The Challenge

Social distancing and shielding will be an impossible challenge in Africa’s crowded capitals and urban slums, where informal trade and daily income rules. Communities are also being bombarded with information on COVID-19 from a range of different sources – the parallel ‘info-demic’ – which is often dangerously misleading. People need access to accurate, up to date and digestible information that is relevant to their own challenges, and echoes – rather than contradicts – official guidance.

The Opportunity

“Because people are quarantined and in lockdown in their homes, we are seeing digital engagement, more than ever, as not just a communication strategy, but also part of the response itself to help support behaviour change” – Kelly Ann Naylor, Associate Director of WASH at UNICEF

According to UNICEF, handwashing is the most immediate, cost effective intervention to transmission available to individuals, and is especially relevant in environments where social distancing and working from home are privileges few can afford. This makes rapid and effective hygiene behaviour change, alongside access to handwashing facilities and simple soap products, all the more urgent.

The Solution

ENDCORONAVIRUS.AFRICA contains the most important information from the WHO about the virus and how users can protect themselves and their families, offering a series of interactive features to improve knowledge, attitudes and behaviours:

  • Get the Facts: generate awareness and stop the spread of misinformation
  • Get Advice: provide support and tips on how to keep safe
  • Get Involved: encourage real-life behaviour change on handwashing
  • Local government hotlines
  • Latest local stats -keep users engaged and visiting the site regularly for updates

Both sites are deployed using Every1Mobile’s own existing social platform software, which is accessible through the most basic web-enabled feature phones, and is designed to consume as little data as possible. This means that we are able to reach anyone with minimal data coverage and access to any basic handset. Content is regularly updated using authoritative sources and presented in colloquial language, to ensure users have the most recent facts and guidance, and to reinforce attitudes and behaviours.

Next Steps

In Kenya, we are already delivering digital handwashing behaviour change to 4,000 mums and mums-to-be, with access to soap and household cleaning products via SMS eVouchering to 31,000 consumers through our partnership with Unilever and DFID TRANSFORM.

We will continue to grow ENDCORONAVIRUS.AFRICA by iterating new features and functionality that offers:

    • A deeply engaging behaviour change resource, using nuanced social behaviour change techniques, digital learning, as well as socio-ecological and parallel process modeling approaches;
    • Social learning and peer interaction, where users can share experiences, tips and reassurances – a key lever for meaningful behaviour change;
    • Personal handwashing behaviour tracking tool to allow users to build and model appropriate behaviours.

Collaborate with Every1Mobile

ENDCORONAVIRUS.AFRICA is a centrally available resource, but we know that localisation for every context is critical to reaching as many as possible. We can only get to the next level through collaboration. We are seeking to partner with implementers and funders, including those bringing handwashing facilities to the most vulnerable, to:

  • Bring ENDCORONAVIRUS.AFRICA to a wider audience by marketing it alongside your own interventions;
  • Scale these tools to new geographies and languages;
  • Scale the soap and cleaning product vouchering coverage;
  • Broaden the range of engaging features and behaviour change approaches available;
  • Offer zero-rated access (data-free) to users.

By scaling, we know we can drive more effective, immediate and meaningful  behaviour change in the coming critical weeks.

If you’d like to work with us on this, then please get in touch today at al**@ev**********.com.

Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for our latest updates.

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