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Enhancing How Governments Assess Awareness of Zika

Beth Simone Noveck
Sep 14, 2016 · 6 min read
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Twenty-four experts from ten countries participated in the first Smarter Crowdsourcing for Zika online conference on August 31st

The Issue

It is critical for policy makers and public health officials to know what their constituents understand and misunderstand about diseases such as Zika and Dengue, including whether the public knows how to combat the diseases, and whether they feel enough motivation to do so.

Novel Approaches

The conference resulted in several concrete proposals, especially for using social media to track public awareness. Joshua Tucker said “the most exciting possibility of the social media is this low cost early warning system. Fabro Stiebel added that “the monitoring of social media is easy to do, although it provides just a sample of the population.”

Bringing the Mountain to Mohammed: Creating More Agile Ways of Bringing Expertise to Governments

The Internet enabled the convening of this extraordinary array of diverse supporters to collaborate with government officials on refining new ideas and taking them from the realm of research into the realm of the possible. Participants included:

  1. David Broniatowski, Assistant Professor, School of Engineering and Applied Science, The George Washington University, USA
  2. Huiling Ding, Associate Professor of Technical Communication, Department of English, North California State University, USA
  3. John P. Elder, Distinguished Professor, Division of Health Promotion and Behavioral Science, Graduate School of Public Health, San Diego State University, USA
  4. Dr. Gaya Gamhewage, Medical officer, Infectious Hazards Management, Health Emergency Programme, World Health Organization, Switzerland
  5. Manuel Garcia-Herranz, Lead Research Scientist, UNICEF Office of Innovation, USA
  6. Molly Jackman, Public Policy Research Manager, Facebook, USA
  7. José Ignacio Mata, Expert in Communication for Behavioral Change, Salud Mesoamerica 2015, Honduras
  8. Esteban Moro, Visiting Professor, MIT Media Lab, USA; Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics, Carlos III University of Madrid, Spain
  9. Mario Mosquera-Vasquez, Chief, Communication for Development, UNICEF-India
  10. Dr. Adriana Naim, Health Programs Coordinator, RTI International, Guatemala
  11. Monserrat Naranjo, Project Director, Curarse en Salud, Mexico
  12. Wendy Nilsen, Program Director, Smart and Connected Health, National Science Foundation, USA
  13. Brendan Nyhan, Professor, Department of Government, Dartmouth College, USA
  14. Rafael Obregon, Chief, Communication for Development, UNICEF, USA
  15. Nancy Pendarvis Harris, Vice President, JSI, USA.
  16. Mathias Pollock, Social and Behavior Change Technical Advisor, Population Services International, USA
  17. Lee Rainie, Director of Internet, Science and Technology Research, Pew Research Center, USA
  18. Alex Rutherford, Data Scientist, UNICEF Innovation Unit, USA
  19. Esmily Yusmary Ruiz Varón, Consultant, Transmissible Diseases, Ministry of Health and Social Protection, Colombia
  20. Dr. Magdalena Serpa, Senior Program Officer, Maternal, Newborn, Child Health & Nutrition, PATH, USA
  21. Fabro Steibel, Executive Director, Institute for Technology and Society, Brazil
  22. Joshua Tucker, Co-Director, Social Media and Political Participation Lab (Smapp), NYU, USA
  23. Dr. Lynn Weekes, CEO, NPS Medicinewise, Australia
  24. Allison Wolff, Facebook, USA

What’s Next

Assessing understanding is only one part of the Zika communications conundrum. On September 7th from 10 am — 12 pm EST, we hosted another session focused on the most effective ways to communicate about Zika to promote the behavior changes needed to reduce infections. Upcoming topics include Trash and Standing Water Mitigation and Information Governance. To request an invitation to participate, Click HERE

Smarter Crowdsourcing

Stories by The GovLab and partners on Smarter…

Thanks to Maria Hermosilla

Beth Simone Noveck

Written by

Director @TheGovLab, Prof @NYUTandon. Former @POTUS44 US Deputy CTO White House @OpenGov Initiative. Author, Smart Citizens, Smarter State (2015).

Smarter Crowdsourcing

Stories by The GovLab and partners on Smarter Crowdsourcing, that marries the agility and diversity of crowdsourcing with curation to target those with relevant know-how and bring them together in a format designed to produce effective and implementable outcomes.

Beth Simone Noveck

Written by

Director @TheGovLab, Prof @NYUTandon. Former @POTUS44 US Deputy CTO White House @OpenGov Initiative. Author, Smart Citizens, Smarter State (2015).

Smarter Crowdsourcing

Stories by The GovLab and partners on Smarter Crowdsourcing, that marries the agility and diversity of crowdsourcing with curation to target those with relevant know-how and bring them together in a format designed to produce effective and implementable outcomes.

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