Social Science

Social science research and analysis is vital to design and deliver effective RCCE approaches and strategies as it provides valuable insights into the culture, practices and experiences of communities affected by the outbreak.

It can for example contribute to a better understanding of people’s ability to put protective measures into practice, the local perceptions of the disease, the acceptance of public health and social measures, trust in public authorities or how traditional beliefs and social norms impact on healthcare seeking behaviour.

Community engagement and participation in the development and implementation of research and data collection processes is essential, for example to define locally appropriate research questions and to generate meaningful evidence which can support advocacy and decision-making processes.

As part of its strategic objective 2, the RCCE Collective Service supports partners at the national, regional and global level to enhance standardised approaches to the systematic collection, analysis and use of socio-behavioural evidence.

This includes a range of services in line with RCCE partner’s needs and priorities:

  • Capacity building and training to support partners in applying social science evidence in health emergencies including data collection, analysis and operationalisation of socio-behavioural information
  • Providing direct support to country-level teams to formulate research questions, develop research protocols, data analysis and quality assurance of research outputs
  • Data mapping and structuring to identify evidence gaps and to generate socio-behavioural trends and support the visualisation of socio-behavioural variables through a dashboard
  • Adapt, develop and contextualise common tools, approaches and standards to support partners to conduct operational social science research and learn from communities about their views, perceptions, capacities, practices and behaviours
  • Compiling lessons learnt and evidence on community-centred responses

Social Science resources

This toolbox was developed for the World Health Organisation COVID-19 Research Roadmap as a joint initiative between the social science and ethics working groups.
This resource aims e to help aid agencies prevent language and cultural biases that frequently occur when designing and administering surveys.
Examples of coding qualitative data.
This Practical Approaches brief highlights key considerations for taking a psychosocial approach to working in the context of an epidemic.
The review findings are used to propose recommendations for qualitative research within the context of public health emergencies.
These questionnaires allow for a rapid quantitative survey (see excel sheet) and qualitative (see word document) appraisal of burial and funeral practices in the context of an Ebola outbreak.
This SSHAP Practical Approaches brief provides guidance on undertaking rapid anthropological assessments in the context of an epidemic.
This SSHAP Practical Approaches brief can be used to gain social science inputs in vaccine deployment efforts to provide practical solutions to re-occurring challenges, including vaccine refusal.
This Practical Approaches brief highlights key considerations for rapidly appraising burial/funerary practices and beliefs around death/dying during an epidemic.
This SSHAP Practical Approaches brief underlines key considerations when appraising the context in which an outbreak occurs.

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