Lessons from the COVID-19 Response

When COVID-19 emerged in late 2019, Breakthrough ACTION was working on social and behavior change for family planning/reproductive health, malaria, HIV, and other health issues across the globe, including under the Global Health Security Agenda. Over the coming months, as it became clear that COVID-19 would touch every community in time, Breakthrough ACTION pivoted. While continuing our work addressing these health areas, Breakthrough ACTION responded to COVID-19 as the crisis it is, implementing activities in 22 countries by June 2020.

We learned a lot. We’d like to share those lessons with you.

Overview of Lessons Learned

We organized our lessons into seven sections, which were inspired by the seven key components of risk communication listed in the World Health Organization’s Joint External Evaluation Tool:[1]

  1. Risk communication systems
  2. Partner coordination
  3. Public communication
  4. Community engagement
  5. Uncertainty and misinformation
  6. Capacity and skills
  7. Data and monitoring

Each section includes an overview of what we learned, a case study, and tools and resources. We also included a “Get Ready” section, which is simply a list of specific steps you can take now to help you be ready for the next crisis.