Oscar Tapp Scotting @DCMS – Deputy Director, Security & Online Harms, UK Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Maureen Stickel – Associate Director and Head of Zambia, IDinsight
Calvin Chong – Director of International Affairs, Ministry of Communications and Information of the Republic of Singapore, @SingaporeMCI
The urgency of the Covid-19 threat is increasing the demand for governments to use existing technologies in new ways and to use untested new technologies on urgent problems. The use of these technologies are part of a rapidly deployed ‘digital safety net’ aimed at saving lives and protecting citizens. Without the usual time available to test new ideas it is more important than ever that best practice is identified and shared.
This event contributes to further thinking about the role of digital technology in providing a safety net in times of crisis, the essential components of the safety net and newly designed technology being used to respond to the Covid-19 crisis.
We explore perspectives from different geographies and address critical lessons covering three aspects of the crisis response: tackling the virus, social protection and public information.
“Human behavior plays a central role in reducing the spread of coronavirus. Communication by
government entities and other trusted sources about desirable or mandated behaviors during the
pandemic is critical. As policymakers, funders, and program staff, it is our responsibility to ensure that communications are clear, concise, and accurate. We can go one step further withmessaging that is behaviorally informed, contextually relevant, and communicated through novel delivery channels. Effective communication will ensure that everyone hears, understands, and follows guidance necessary for COVID-19 mitigation.”
Linda Mobula @LindaMobula – Assistant Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins and Research Associate, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
Theresa Jones @Theresa_E_Jones – Clinical Psychologist and Senior Research Associate, Anthrologicacov
Bernard Balibuna – Country Representative, CAFOD, DRC
Natalie Roberts @docnat – Director of Studies, MSF-CRASH (Médecins Sans Frontières, Centre de réflexion sur l’action et les savoirs humanitaires)
The world’s second largest outbreak of Ebola was declared on 1 August 2018 in the Democratic Republic of Congo. More than 2,200 people have died and over 3,300 have been infected. The response to Ebola has been complicated by conflict between central government, local political actors and armed groups in the affected areas. Rumours about the virus and the response have also been spread and shaped by that conflict.
Attempts have been made to apply key lessons from the 2014-15 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, such as the need for strong surveillance and outbreak control strategies and the importance of understanding the behaviours, practices and perceptions of communities and of engaging them actively in the response. The identification and trial use of effective vaccines during the outbreak has been an important and promising development. Yet, despite these efforts, cases of Ebola continue to be reported.
Drawing on articles from the Humanitarian Exchange, this webinar will discuss to what degree the lessons learned from the West Africa Ebola outbreak have been taken into account in the DRC response and how barriers to containment of the disease could be better addressed.
The COVID-19 Digital Classroom
The COVID-19 Digital Classroom is a collective of international organizations united by the belief that access to high-quality healthcare is a universal human right. And now, with the current global crisis, populations around the world need rapid, coordinated, and focused support to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients in countries with limited preparedness and response resources are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19, and sharp increases in COVID-19 caseloads are likely to overwhelm health systems in countries already facing shortages of nurses, physicians, and other health workers.
Community-based health workers have a vital role to play in preventing, detecting, and responding to the virus, while also ensuring lifesaving primary healthcare continues to be delivered – particularly in rural, remote, and vulnerable communities. These critical healthcare workers need access to high-quality and easy-to-use information that will help increase their ability to treat and support patients and to deliver health services safely.
The COVID-19 Digital Classroom was established to meet this challenge. We are dedicated to leveraging digital technologies and existing content distribution channels to ensure every health worker has the information they need to help their own communities, wherever in the world they are providing care, from city centers to the last mile.