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Research Snapshot: Listening to Communities Improves Outbreak Response

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The study, which tested the Community Perceptions Tracker (CPT) in Lebanon and Zimbabwe, illustrates that adopting a systematic process which encourages all implementation staff to actively listen to communities, track perceptions and then act on the trends that emerge, is valued by staff and could lead to more acceptable and relevant programming during outbreaks.

The CPT process provided humanitarian staff with real-time data on community perceptions and priorities. This was used to inform programme implementation and decision making.

While the CPT can be improved, findings illustrate that routinely documenting community perceptions can add value to humanitarian response during disease outbreaks.

This snapshot contains key messages, findings, implications for humanitarian policymakers and practitioners and recommendations for further research.