Addressing COVID-19 Misinformation: Lessons from the Frontlines in 100 Countries

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The experience in communities in countries across the world, demonstrates an urgent need to support groups at the local level if misinformation and mistrust is to be tackled effectively.

When crisis hit, people’s first instinct is to turn to family, friends, and other close contacts for information. Fears and concerns are based in personal experiences and individual’s responses are framed by them. But in a world where people have access to an increasingly wide array of information sources, who to trust – and how to convey trusted information to build confidence – is increasingly challenging.

Internews’ experience during the COVID-19 pandemic and previous pandemics and epidemics, shows that listening to, and speaking directly with local communities is critical for dealing rapidly and effectively with health emergencies. Establishing who the trusted local messengers are, understanding communities’ concerns, and investing in the best ways of addressing them, is one of the most effective investments to be made in supporting health globally.

This report highlights the lessons learned over the last 1.5 years and in previous epidemics and other health crisis.