Public and Community Engagement Response to COVID-19

Funded by: OUCRU (Wellcome funding)

Principal Investigator: Mary Chambers

Location: Vietnam, Indonesia and Nepal


Building trust in a time of public health crisis through public and community engagement, including:

  1. Building dialogue between public and experts
  2. Listening to communities
  3. Empowering communities through knowledge transfer


 Notable outputs to date:

Dialogue | 2020

  • ‘Online science debates’ – engaging Vietnamese young people and scientists to use debate as a tool for discussing health science-related topics. Viet Nam
  • ‘Hear the Expert’ – EOCRU and The Conversation Indonesia. Live stream discussion between scientists and the public. April 21, 2020
  • ‘How to overcome stress during the pandemic season for Healthcare Workers – Online Workshop’ – OUCRU and Healthcare Improvement Research (CHIR) and Wake up Schools. Live stream workshop discussion stress factors of Healthcare Workers and introducing the practice of mindfulness to reduce their stress. April 5, 2020. Viet Nam
  • ‘Ask the Scientists’ – OUCRU Schools Engagement team. Online ‘chats’ between schoolchildren and scientists. Viet Nam
  • ‘Covid-19: Truths and Myths’ – OUCRU and British Embassy Viet Nam, live stream Q&A between experts and the public. June 9, 2020: Prof Jeremy Day and Nguyen Thanh Ha. Viet Nam
  • ‘Working together to beat Covid-19: engaging and involving patients and public’ – Cochrane Training Webinar Series. June 11, 2020: Dr Mary Chambers
  • Virtual Tea Talk Series ’COVID19: Truth and Myths’, Interactive session with students June 20, 2020 and with/communities July 7, 2020 – Nepal
  • COVID Experience sharing sessions with frontline workers of OUCRU-NP (first session on July 5, second session July 17, third session July 28, fourth session July 30) – Nepal.
  • Workshops for young people exploring the avenues through which news is disseminated and developing skills for assessing the strength of the news being shared – Viet Nam:
    • “Science against fake news” Ho Chi Minh City, June 26, 2020- equipping junior students with skills to recognise fake news.
    • “Combating Covid-19 related fake news”, Ho Chi Minh City, July 25, 2020 – improving health literacy for young people (facilitated by Media and Communication Officer. University of Social Science and Humanities)


Dialogue | 2021

  • Webinar: ‘The Lived experience of Frontline Health Workers’, CONNECT/The Global Health Network Research in Focus Lecture, January 26, 2021: Sarita Pyatha (Nepal)
  • Digital Diaries Video Screening at OUCRU (7th March 2021) and with Medical Doctors at Teaching hospital (March 30, 2021) Nepal
  • Tea Talks in the community about COVID-19 Vaccination Hesitancy. (‘Working together to beat Covid-19: engaging and involving community and experts’). First session on April 5, 2021, second session April 15, 2021 – Nepal
  • ‘Covid-19 Vaccine: A discussion’ – OUCRU, British Embassy Viet Nam, WHO, and Unicef, livestream Q &A between experts and the public. With Dr Kidong Park, Rana Flowers, Marcus Winsley, Prof. Jeremy Day and Dr Tu Van. April 29, 2021 Viet Nam
  • Virtual Tea Talks Series with OUCRU staff- In collaboration with the Patan hospital psychiatric department, a series of programs to address mental health issues in the workplace: Tea talks (informal program) aimed at helping to reduce stress and sharing experiences, walk-in counselling sessions (formal support). May – June 2021 Nepal


Listening to communities | 2020

  • Schools Photo Competition – Photo and caption about the learning experience in Covid-19 lockdown Viet Nam
  • Advisory group meeting: HTD healthcare workers. June 10, 2020 Viet Nam

Listening to communities | 2021

  • ‘Voice of science’ – a digital youth engagement platform to put science at the heart of Vietnamese young people as well as to collect their perspectives and recommendations for good health research activities. Viet Nam
  • Digital Diaries (personal stories of Covid-19 experiences): Viet Nam, Nepal and Indonesia

Knowledge transfer | 2020

  • Articles for The Conversation newspaper – EOCRU – Indonesia
  • Poster ‘How to protect yourself from Covid-19’ – OUCRU NP – Nepal
  • WHO ‘Myth Busters’ for social media – in Vietnamese and Nepali OUCRU & OUCRU NP
  • Animations for social media: ‘Coping with stress during Covid-19’ In Bahasa Indonesia, Vietnamese, Nepali and English
  • Khăn Quàng Đỏ (Youth Magazine) Articles, Viet Nam, on the following topics:
    • Emotion Trap in Consuming News in the Pandemic September 8, 2020
    • Nutrition Misunderstanding in the Pandemic Context, September 15, 2020
    • Mathematical Modelling. What is it? And How can it help alleviate the Pandemic? September 22, 2020
    • Four unknowns about Covid-19, September 29, 2020
    • What is the smallest living organism in the world? October 6, 2020
    • Wildlife Consumption, October 13, 2020

Knowledge transfer | 2021

  • Podcast program. (7 episodes – November 2020 – current): A monthly podcast on Spotify aimed at accurate public health communication. Involving doctors, researchers, EOCRU experts in medical, public health, and related fields as well as external speakers (dr. Siti Nadia, M. Epid (Spokesperson for Covid-19 Vaccination from Indonesia’s Ministry of Health) and Prof. Zubairi Djoerban, Sp.PD-KHOM (Head of the Covid-19 Task Force of The Board of the Indonesian Medical Association/Pengurus Besar Ikatan Dokter Indonesia). Episode 1 – Indonesia
  • Radio program (Sumba) – aiming to disseminate significant and accurate information and engage interest in health issues amongst the public in rural areas in Sumba. Using easy-to-understand language in the local dialect, the program is aired on bi-weekly basis and has released four episodes. Indonesia
  • Covid-19 Related Video Interview Series (EOCRU Social Media), Indonesia – To engage and educate the public through social media about the Covid-19 pandemic – a series of 6 videos of interviews with 4 internal researchers and collaborators, on the following topics:
    • Future of Covid-19 in Indonesia through mathematical modelling
    • Covid-19 herd immunity in Indonesia: What, when, and how
    • How effective are large-scale social restrictions and mudik (returning to hometowns) prohibitions to suppress the number of cases and the transmission rate of Covid-19 in Indonesia?
    • The impact of mass media publication about Covid-19 toward public decision and action
    • How we can be more careful in consuming Covid-19 related news
  • ‘Digital science hub’ – a joint project between OUCRU and Bayer Viet Nam to develop the science literacy of Vietnamese children through online engagement and science learning activities. Viet Nam
  • World Immunization Week: ‘I’m vaccinated’ social media campaign Viet Nam
  • Short film for social media: ‘Q & A on Covid-19 Vaccine’ – Hospital for Tropical Diseases HCMC with Dr Truong Ngoc Trung Viet Nam
  • Providing factual information about COVID-19 and answering FAQs of communities through VIBER Group. Nepal
  • Poster – Post-vaccination advice, displayed in the hospital and the community. Nepal