Lessons Learned from the RCCE Response to COVID-19

Eastern and Southern Africa Region


From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF played a critical role in the implementation of risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) activities across ESA region. To assess the contribution of UNICEF ESA’s RCCE work and to understand ESA countries’ experience around RCCE during the COVID-19 pandemic from inception to December 2021, a lessons learnt exercise was conducted with 9 countries (Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Kenya, Botswana, South Africa, Mozambique, and Madagascar).

This report provides 7 key lessons learned that emerged from analyzing the data collected from the key informant interviews and focus group discussions, as well as the feedback received from UNICEF social and behaviour change leads at the June 2022 Network meeting. The lessons learned have been grouped into categories: 1) those that UNICEF COs and partners should consider framing preparedness for future responses and 2) those that should be scaled up during emergency responses. Building on the main lessons learned, this report also identifies 10 recommendations to catalyze the investments made during COVID-19 to strengthen RCCE/SBC platforms, sustain innovative approaches in social and behavioural data collection and use and enhance accountability to affected communities.

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