On 30 January 2020, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak to be a global public health emergency of international concern under the International Health Regulations (2005). Since that time, the pandemic has continued to highlight a pressing need to use social and behavioural data alongside biomedical data to mount an effective response. Timely data and insights into people’s changing knowledge, attitudes and behaviours help to ensure that the response is tailored and adapted to the needs of the population. Against the rapidly evolving situation, many countries are facing challenges in the availability of accurate and up-to-date social and behavioural data. Few countries are capturing social and behavioural data in a way that meets the needs of the country response teams. Defining methodological approaches and designing tools can be a time-consuming and challenging task for resource-constrained teams. In response to this situation, WHO has developed the “Social and Behavioural Insights COVID-19 Data Collection Tool for Africa” (hereafter referred to as “the tool”).
Objectives of the tool
The tool aims to support in-country response teams in the WHO African Region as they collect data to:
• understand the social and behavioural impacts of COVID-19 on people;
• determine knowledge of, for example, symptoms, actions, transmission and preventive measures;
• understand barriers to and drivers for taking up recommended behaviours; and
• support response teams to communicate and engage with populations effectively.