Research Project (Ongoing)

Impact of Risk Communication and Community Engagement on People's Health Behavior: In Respond to COVID-19 Pandemic

This study is part of a research project called “COVID-19 Study for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Resilient Society.”

From prior experience with infectious disease pandemics such as the Ebola virus and SARS, it is clear that preventive action—not just vaccines and medical treatment—would be the key to responding to health crises amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. WHO has issued "COVID-19 Global Risk Communication and Community Engagement Strategy" guidance, stating that it is important for people to understand and be willing to comply with rules pertaining to public health and social and economic measures, and that risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) for this purpose is more important than ever before.

How quickly people take effective preventive action against COVID-19 is critical to containing the spread of the virus. However, differing social norms and values, in addition to differences in political, cultural, and social structures, have a significant impact on people’s health behavior, and this requires RCCE strategies which fit the context of each community. To develop these strategies, it is necessary to analyze and consider the situations of the actors involved, but there have been few such analytical studies of actors.

Therefore, this study conducts examinations of the characteristics of involved actors—including organizations in the public sector such as the government, residents, and other organizations that work on engagement activities—as well as the impact of connections among actors on health behavior and the ways in which actors organically connect and build communities in non-emergency times, which can lead to rapid action in emergency situations. It is expected that these studies will provide insight into the nature of crisis-resilient communities.