LGUs can refer to RCCE as a guide in developing, implementing, and monitoring COVID-19 initiatives.
The RCCE guidance is a tool to support national health authorities, responders and other partners to develop, implement and monitor action plans for communicating effectively with the public and engaging with communities, local partners and other stakeholders.
The tool includes a 7-step guidance process, which includes: collecting data and making assessments; developing coordination mechanisms; defining and prioritizing key objectives; identifying target audiences and key influencers; developing a RCCE strategy that fits into the country’s response strategy; implementing the plan with partners and engaging the community; and developing a monitoring plan for evaluation purposes. The RCCE Action Plan Guidance has a planning template and practical annexes to assist with the exercise.
It allows countries and communities to:
• Adapt the elements according to country needs and the local situation.
• Revise plans according to the evolution of the situation.
• Coordinate and plan together with authorities and partners.
• Proactively communicate and promote a two-way dialogue with communities, the public and other stakeholders.
• Understand risk perceptions, behaviours and existing barriers, specific needs, knowledge gaps, and provide the identified communities/groups with accurate information tailored to their circumstances.
• Reduce stigma. See WHO’s Guide to preventing and addressing social stigma
• Conduct early and ongoing assessments to identify essential information about at-risk populations and other stakeholders (i.e. their perception, knowledge, preferred and accessible communication channels, or existing barriers that prevent people to uptake the promoted behaviors).
• Ensure that all people at-risk of acquiring COVID-19 are identified, reached and involved.
Risk Communication and Community Engagement is an essential component of health emergency preparedness and response. This Action Plan Guidance for COVID-19 provides a strategy and tool that helps to prepare and protect individuals, families and the public’s health during early response to COVID-19.