he COVID pandemic has led to long lasting changes in various sectors, ranging from domestic to private life. There has been greater awareness and emphasis on hygiene and sanitation. The new campaign is an effort to bring the appropriate behavioral changes.
Navigating the New Normal Campaign
NITI Aayog, in partnership with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Centre for Social and Behavioural Change (CSBC), Ashoka University, and the Ministries of Health and WCD, have launched a behaviour change campaign called ‘Navigating the New Normal’, and its website.
Developed under the guidance of Empowered Group constituted by the Government of India and chaired by CEO, NITI Aayog, the campaign has two parts. The first is a web portal, http://www.covidthenewnormal.com/, containing resources informed by behavioural science and the use of nudge and social norms theory, related to Covid-safe behavioural norms during the ongoing unlock phase, and the second is a media campaign focused on the wearing of masks. It is an effort to provide people with prompts and reminders along with simple, easy-to-practice ideas of designing their environment in such a manner that practising these behaviours become easy.
Until a vaccine is available, wearing masks along with practising hand hygiene and social distancing, will be important to slow down the spread of the novel coronavirus. Hence, the public and institutions ought to be encouraged to follow COVID safe behaviors.
The website aims to increase public participation and engage CSOs and NGOs. It will become a repository of strategies and collaterals to practise Covid-safe behaviours in different sectors. It aims to provide open-source access to anyone, including CSOs, NGOs, the public, institutions, anganwadi workers and district administration. With the availability of this information, institutions and civil society organisations can plan to resume their normal activities while practising Covid-safe behaviours.
The portal focuses on easy implementation of four key behaviours in the unlock phase:
- social distancing
- hand hygiene
- not spitting in public
The website will have sector-specific collaterals and guidelines for health, nutrition, and public transport (in metro cities).
A Focused Mask-Wearing Campaign
Media Will be utilised in establishing the correct way to wear masks. Undoubtedly, this simple measure has made a big difference in the fight against Covid-19. Countries such as Japan and South Korea have made mask-wearing a socially accepted norm. The mask-wearing campaign is designed by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in partnership with McCann Worldgroup.