Research & Evidence

Learning From the Past: The Role of Social and Behavior Change Programming in Public Health Emergencies

Behavioral responses to emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) are the first line of defense to mitigate their spread. This article, published in Global Health: Science and Practice, analyzes responses to EIDs to identify lessons for improving public health responses. These lessons relate to community engagement, trust through transparent risk communication, audience segmentation for tailored interventions, prioritizing behaviors, and strengthening political will. The authors, including staff from MOMENTUM Integrated Health Resilience, conclude with the need to engage social scientists, including social and behavior change experts, in the initial response to infectious disease outbreaks, to reduce mortality and improve efficiency in time-sensitive situations.

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