Looking back, looking forward: lessons from COVID-19 communication measurement, evaluation and learning (MEL)

Authors

  • Oxana Onilov Communication Unit, Regional Director’s Office, World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific, Manila, Philippines
  • Dexin Gong Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific, Manila, Philippines
  • Kimberly Chriscaden Communication Unit, Regional Director’s Office, World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific, Manila, Philippines
  • Jargalan Tsogt Communication Unit, Regional Director’s Office, World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific, Manila, Philippines
  • Maria Socorro Melic Communication Unit, Regional Director’s Office, World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific, Manila, Philippines
  • Rosemarie Urquico Communication Unit, Regional Director’s Office, World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific, Manila, Philippines
  • Anna Biernat Communication Unit, Regional Director’s Office, World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific, Manila, Philippines
  • Anna Postovoitova Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific, Manila, Philippines
  • Lieke Visser Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific, Manila, Philippines
  • Nancy Wong Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific, Manila, Philippines
  • Rosemarie North Health Emergencies Programme, World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific, Manila, Philippines
  • Olivia Lawe-Davies Communication Unit, Regional Director’s Office, World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific, Manila, Philippines

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5365/wpsar.2024.15.1.1056

Keywords:

COVID-19, measurement evaluation and learning, communication for health, C4H, risk communication, formative evaluation, process evaluation, summative evaluation

Abstract

Problem: Communication is an integral component of an emergency response, including to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Designing effective communication requires systematic measurement, evaluation and learning.

Context: In the Western Pacific Region, the World Health Organization (WHO) responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by using the Communication for Health (C4H) approach. This included the development and application of a robust measurement, evaluation and learning (MEL) framework to assess the effectiveness of COVID-19 communication, and to share and apply lessons in real time to continuously strengthen the pandemic response.

Action: MEL was applied during the planning, implementation and summative evaluation phases of COVID-19 communication, with evidence-based insights and recommendations continuously integrated in succeeding phases of the COVID-19 response.

Lessons learned: This article captures good practices that helped WHO to implement MEL during the COVID-19 pandemic. It focuses on lessons from the evaluation process, including the importance of planning, data integration, collaboration, partnerships, piggybacking, using existing data and leveraging digital media.

Discussion: Despite some limitations, the systematic application of MEL to COVID-19 communication shows its value in the planning and implementation of effective, evidence-based communication to address public health challenges. It enables the evaluation of outcomes and reflection on lessons identified to strengthen the response to the current pandemic and future emergencies.

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Published

05-01-2024

How to Cite

1.
Onilov O, Gong D, Chriscaden K, Tsogt J, Melic MS, Urquico R, Biernat A, Postovoitova A, Visser L, Wong N, North R, Lawe-Davies O. Looking back, looking forward: lessons from COVID-19 communication measurement, evaluation and learning (MEL). Western Pac Surveill Response J [Internet]. 2024 Jan. 5 [cited 2024 Feb. 28];15(1). Available from: https://ojs.wpro.who.int/ojs/index.php/wpsar/article/view/1056

Issue

Section

Lessons from the Field

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