The World Health Organization (WHO) has expanded the global community of practice of infodemic managers to more than 500 trainees from 120 countries following the completion of the 2nd WHO Global Infodemic Management training.
The 2nd training wrapped up in July 2021 after an overwhelming response. WHO was proud to partner with United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) for technical expertise, facilitation, and training support. WHO was delighted to also welcome the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and UNICEF as training partners.
Over 700 applications from 114 countries were received, with 254 people selected for the training. Trainees came from a wide range of disciplines and organisations including universities, WHO and UN staff, youth networks, media, health authorities, and ministries of health.
Training was offered in both French and English, with 56 participants in the French stream and 198 in the English stream.
The training runs over four weeks and is an intensive introduction to a range of skills, theory and practice. It aims to give participants the tools they need to mitigate the effects of the infodemic. Participants were involved in over 24 hours of lectures and discussions.
WHO convened technical mentors from 30 global organisations to host live SkillsLabs for the trainees to do problem-based learning in real-time, and for pre-recorded master classes to enable them to develop new skills at their own pace.
As part of a month-long infodemic simulation exercise, trainees developed social listening reports for their region trialing the new WHO EARS tool for identifying changing questions and concerns about COVID-19.
This approach generates infodemic insights that can be translated into recommendations for action. A number of trainees from the 1st training cohort were involved in both the presentations and facilitation.
The fast-paced, comprehensive course has been highly valued by participants with 98% of respondents saying they would recommend it to other experts. Video reflections from past participants demonstrate how learnings from the training are being translated into practice.
Lokesh, Infodemic Manager, MoH, India said: “Trust me if you get an opportunity to enroll in this course you will get one of the best learning experiences of your life.”
Application to the training will be extended through a wide range of partner organisations who will be asked to nominate experts to take part. WHO, US CDC, UNICEF, GAVI, Rockefeller Foundation, IFRC, Mercy Corps, USAID, the RCCE Collective Service and partners will nominate experienced professionals who are responding to COVID-19 and the accompanying infodemic at country-level.
This third training will enable the global community of practice to grow even more, enabling greater capacity in countries to respond to and manage the infodemic.
Resources from 2nd global training: Training booklet