How can behavioural science be applied in public health communication to influence the adoption of safer practices? IDFC Institute, in collaboration with Noora Health, answer this question in the context of COVID-19 during Wave 1 through our research in Punjab on barriers to adoption of preventive behaviours such as early reporting of symptoms and testing.
We extended support to the Government of Punjab during Wave 1 of COVID-19 by developing a campaign to reinforce the importance of getting tested in time. Our campaign, conceptualised with a ‘Care and support’ angle, aimed to highlight empathy and support on behalf of the public health system and urged people to get tested as a precaution to keep their families safe.
We document the findings from expert interviews, key informant interviews, needs assessment and rapid testing of campaign posters. We tested the posters on four key behavioural science parameters—understanding, recall, sentiments and behavioural indicators—to gauge comprehension levels and degree of resonance with elements like the mascot, tagline and visuals. The study also helped us document generalisable lessons that could aid the development of future public health communication campaigns.