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UNDRR Asia-Pacific COVID-19 brief: Risk communication and countering the ‘infodemic’

Source(s):  United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction - Regional Office for Asia and Pacific (UNDRR AP)

Trusted, accurate, simple, and widely shared risk information saves lives, particularly when it reaches ‘the last mile’ and is used by vulnerable communities. However, several weeks into this global COVID-19 crisis, it is also clear that a ‘parallel universe’ of rumour and false information is also active. Its wide reach and ability to influence behaviour could increase health risks and fuel racism and hate. This ‘infodemic’ is a genuine threat to COVID-19 prevention and recovery.

This brief aims to highlight the challenges and opportunities for effective risk messaging. Special emphasis is placed on reaching and helping to protect vulnerable communities and deploying tactics to counter misinformation and disinformation which threaten the public health responses and increase societal tensions.

Key reccommendations include:

  • Tailor the message for the audience;
  • Tailor the medium to ensure no one is left behind and the ‘last mile’ is reached;
  • Actively counter misinformation;
  • Currency of Trust: build your networks before the crisis;
  • Leverage Information Communication Technology to its full potential; and
  • Develop a communication strategy around COVID-19 recovery and exit plans.

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  • UNDRR Asia-Pacific COVID-19 brief: Risk communication and countering the ‘infodemic’
  • Publication date 2020
  • Number of pages 9 p.

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