COVID-19 - A guide to support professionals involved in effective mobilisation in crisis situations
In this period of crisis caused by COVID-19, many actors in society are mobilising to help people in vulnerable situations. Public authorities, professionals, parents and the media are all participating in the common effort and implementing new public actions to curb the spread of the disease. However, in an emergency, it is sometimes difficult to assess whether the implemented measures will achieve the desired effect. Prof. Guy Elcheroth, a researcher at the National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES “Overcoming Vulnerability: A Life Course Perspective” at the University of Lausanne, collects 10 practical tips and 10 scientific results in the form of a guide to mobilise 3 types of social behaviour: protection, solidarity and resilience.
A great deal of research in social psychology and related disciplines has already been conducted internationally and indicates which practices have proven to be effective (see fact-sheet). In view of the urgency associated with a period of crisis, the main challenge is to make the right decisions quickly and avoid known pitfalls. This guide is intended to support all actors involved in coordinating public action during this health crisis. The implementation of this knowledge takes on its full meaning in the current situation related to COVID-19. These practices are transferable to other crises and, ideally, are applied upstream at the beginning of a project.
A common goal: Getting the public onboard
In the multitude of initiatives currently being implemented to help newly vulnerable people and those already in vulnerable situations, the objective is the same: to get the whole population to adhere to public health measures. The difficulty lies in mobilising three social behaviours, which are real bulwarks against this health crisis: protective behaviours that include respect for health instructions such as spatial distancing, solidarity behaviours that facilitate support for vulnerable people and commitment to the continuity of essential services and resilience behaviours aimed at preventing further damage generated by a distressing situation. The course of the health crisis and its human consequences depend on the successful mobilisation of these three behaviours by the entire population.