COVID-19: our response

This page details Suvita's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adjustments to our existing work:
  1. We paused our programme implementation during the early stages of the pandemic so that we could get a clear sense of the associated risks and benefits. The continuation of routine immunisation services has been identified as a critical priority by both UNICEF and the Government of India, so our routine immunisation work has now restarted.

  2. All our programmes are being conducted remotely and our staff (in all countries) have been asked to work from home wherever possible. For the small portion of our work which cannot be conducted remotely, a full risk assessment and risk mitigation measures have been put in place.

New activities:

Earlier this year, we launched a number of COVID-related projects, in collaboration with our government partner Bihar State Health Society and our academic partner Dr. Sebastian Bauhoff (Harvard Assistant Professor of Global Health and Economics) and his research team.

 

We investigated knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of low-income communities in India related to COVID-19 (through phone surveys and in collaboration with other groups doing similar work) and identified key gaps which would benefit from government messaging campaigns.

We then used state of the art adaptive testing techniques to investigate the effect of the content, framing, timing and frequency of SMS messages designed to encourage COVID-19-related behaviour change.

Messages were designed to be:

  • Aligned with MOHFW and WHO recommendations

  • Shaped by behavioural science

  • Reach low-income communities who have limited access to information

 

Implementation and data collection for this study is complete; data analysis is ongoing.

These plans have evolved over time depending on where we can most usefully support government efforts as the crisis has developed. All activities have been and will continue to be conducted in accordance with the Government of India’s coronavirus guidance and restrictions.

Resources

"Our response" summary brochure

(v3 17 April; N.B. this document reflects our early plans and is no longer up-to-date)

Literature review and draft messages

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