WaterAid Covid-19 Content Library

Thrive helped to support the response to the Covid-19 health crisis by providing behaviour change messages, voice scripts, images and articles to non-profit organisations.

Covid pro bono, length illustration with the cow

In the spring of 2020, Thrive created a Covid-19 Content Library to provide evidence-based, sharable health content on coronavirus to NGOs. 

Drawing on our behaviour change and mHealth experience, we created a series of articles, SMS messages, voice scripts, and images designed to help non-profit organisations to communicate with the communities they care for.  

Thrive was delighted to partner with WaterAid, who used the Content Library to help deliver vital messaging to individuals who may not have been reached by government-led coronavirus communications. 

We spoke to Fiona Callister, Global Head of Media at WaterAid, to gain an insight into the impact of the Covid-19 Content Library and the experience of working with Thrive. 

Could you describe what motivated you to engage Thrive’s services initially? 

We were really pleased with the working relationship we were quickly able to establish with Thrive. Their response to any questions or amends was always prompt, and they were quick to act on any feedback we had. In the end, they delivered a product that really felt right.   

What type of goals were you hoping to achieve with the Covid-19 content?  

There were two main objectives for WaterAid. The first objective was to ensure we reached as many people as possible in the countries in which we operate. In particular, we were looking to reach individuals who may not have been exposed to governmentled communications. We were looking to reach these people with messaging that was likely to resonate with them, to bring about the type of behavioural change that would help to prevent the spread of Covid-19.  

Secondly, we were aiming to use the Covid-19 content as an opportunity to create lasting behaviour change in these communities. We know from our work in West Africa during the Ebola crisis that people will change their behaviour in response to a threat. For example, while that crisis was at its height, there was a proliferation in washing facilities and a significant increase in hand-washing, but once that threat receded so too did the washing facilities and increased hand-washing. With the Covid-19 content, we were keen not just to get people to respond to the threat, but to really foster lasting behaviour change. That’s why, in the work we did with Thrive, we were looking to empower communities to protect each other and slow the spread of Covid-19.   

Did the quality of the Covid-19 content exceed your expectations in terms of the quality and accuracy of information? 

Yes, completely. We particularly appreciated the imagination and creativity in the social distancing images. The thought that went into using a cow to help visualise the suggested social distance of 2 metres, for example, was really creative, and was something that we felt would really resonate with people.  

Would you recommend our services to other NGOs/charities? If so, why? 

Yes, of course. Thrive have listened attentively throughout the process and offered real expertlevel engagement. Had we engaged an all-purpose communications agency on this I think we would have had to spend a lot of time talking through the basics of our behaviour change approach. By using Thrive, we able to use shorthand as there was a shared understanding of how behaviour change works but also an appreciation that WaterAid has its own behaviour change philosophy, allowing us to feed in our own ideas from our experience in terms of what works and what doesn’t.  

There was a really creative approach throughout, and it felt like Thrive understood our target audience. Again, had we gone with a UK based all-purpose communications agency that tended to focus more on behaviour change for audiences in the developed world I think the translation and localisation would have been much more of an issue. 

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