For community-led emergency preparedness and response
“Social scientists provide insights into perceptions and behaviors in a public health emergency that are rooted in social, cultural, political, economic, family and community dynamics. These insights then inform the design and implementation of public health responses and humanitarian action.” (READY, 2022)
Social and behavioral factors are critical determinants for preparedness and response actions in health emergency contexts. Communities and individuals often interpret, accept and and/or adhere to public health recommendations based in part on their understanding and perception of the threat, their level of trust in public institutions, existing socio-cultural norms and traditions (e.g. health-seeking behavior), their historical past and their physical, financial and social capacity to act.
This Social Science ‘Toolbox’ is an online space specifically for social scientists - and managers who wish to utilise social science expertise - working within emergency preparedness and response to quickly access guidance documents, competency frameworks, training resources, tools, and relevant knowledge hubs for further learning.
The Toolbox is the authoritative reference for the Collective Service’s interagency social science strategy of research and analysis to increase the scale and quality of community engagement approaches. As such, this Toolbox draws upon the resources of a diverse range of health and humanitarian partners with experience in employing, deploying and/or utilizing social science expertise in their programming.
These resources are intended to help operationalize social science research in health emergency contexts by aiding engagement and communication practitioners in: strengthening community awareness, preparedness and response; tailoring strategies and approaches to people’s needs, capacities, and (existing) resilience mechanisms; and soliciting community participation in the development and implementation of social research to define locally appropriate research questions and generate meaningful evidence which can support advocacy and decision-making processes.
1 - Getting Started: Establishing Organizational Priorities
2 - Design Your Team - Social Scientist
3 - Data4Action Tools & Resources
4 - Knowledge Hubs & Platforms
If you would like to suggest additional resources to add to the Toolkit, please contact the Research Manager & Social Science Team Lead for the Collective Service, Ginger Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org).