A Behavioural Playbook for Public Health Responses

Learning from the Middle East and North Africa experience, preparing for the future

A Behavioural Playbook for Public Health Responses


What is the Behavioural Playbook for Public Health Response?

Effective public health responses require a comprehensive range of policy solutions, including epidemiological and behavioural data, specific expertise in community engagement as well as social and behaviour change strategies, investment in healthcare systems, a well-trained and well-equipped workforce, reliable supply chains and coordinated public health and social measures.

This playbook focuses on Social and Behaviour Change (SBC) solutions to public health crises, drawing upon promising SBC initiatives that were deployed during the COVID-19 pandemic within the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).The playbook has been created as a resource for practitioners within UNICEF and beyond, distilling lessons learned from the MENA region to shape more effective strategies for future responses to epidemics, pandemics and other types of health crises - using an SBC lens.

  • Applying an SBC lens to public health crises
  • Lessons learned from the COVID-19 response across the MENA region
  • Inform future public health responses

Effective public health responses also rest on a strong foundation of ‘preparedness’, which tends to be organised as a cycle of continuous activities rather than having a beginning and end point per se.
As a complement to this foundation, this playbook is structured along

four general phases of response to a public health crisis:

  • Phase 1: Emergence of the Virus
  • Phase 2: Continuous Adaptation
  • Phase 3: Vaccine Rollout
  • Phase 4: Recovery and Integration

We also address two cross-cutting themes that span across the response phases follow the sections on the four phases:

  • Social and Behavioural Data
  • Economic and Social support
A Behavioural Playbook for Public Health Responses
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