Cross-cutting issues

Risk Communication and Community Engagement 

UNICEF Implementing and Monitoring Community Engagement Activities in the Era of Physical Distancing  This document provides guidance on how to adapt and monitor community engagement activities within Risk Communication and Community Engagements (RCCE) plans to fit physical distancing measures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The guidance provided is to be contextualized and adapted to country /regional environment recognizing that a “one-size-fits-all” approach to coronavirus mitigation does not produce the same outcomes across different populations and conditions.

Emergency ethics and accountable aid: How the global COVID-19 response must put people first. How can we ethically engage with affected communities and remain accountable to them? This question was discussed during a webinar organised by CHS Alliance, Groupe URD and Sphere on 16 April. Listen to the webinar recording here

IFRC, UNICEF, WHO COVID-19 Global Response RISK COMMUNICATION & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT (RCCE) STRATEGY A clear and integrated Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) strategy and response is vital for community uptake of essential public health and biomedical interventions to prevent and control the spread of disease. This strategy ensures dialogue and participation of all stakeholders and affected communities during preparedness, readiness and response.

IFRC, UNICEF, WHO COVID19 Joint RCCE action plan guidance This tool is designed to support risk communication, community engagement staff and responders working with national health authorities, and other partners to develop, implement and monitor an effective action plan for communicating effectively with the public, engaging with communities, local partners and other stakeholders to help prepare and protect individuals, families and the public’s health during early response to COVID-19.

UNICEF AAP Guidance in COVID -19 Response 30 March 2020 As highlighted in the global Humanitarian Response Plan for COVID-19, Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) is an essential part of the response to the outbreak. This note aims to provide simple and practical guidance to UNICEF Country Offices on how to include and strengthen AAP in COVID-19 preparedness and response plans, in alignment with IASC and Grand Bargain commitments and the Core Humanitarian Standard.

UNICEF RISK COMMUNICATION & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT GUIDANCE for COVID-19 pandemic response The goal of this guidance is to provide an overview of UNICEF’s Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) response components and mechanisms, various approaches and technical areas of action, as well as support available to regions and countries to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate some of its secondary impacts. It offers quick links to tools and tips available to ensure the quality of each step of the development process and each specific area of work.

GOAL Community Engagement in the Context of COVID 19The purpose of this SOP is to provide a decision-making framework for GOAL staff to decide which community engagement activities they can continue and what measures are required to undertake these engagements, balancing safety with the need to continue critical lifesaving and life sustaining programming. This SOP should inform the adjustment of ongoing and planned community engagements under current programming and the design of new community engagement activities for COVID-19 responses.

WHO Risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) readiness and response to the 2019 novel coronavirus (‎‎2019-nCoV)

Inter-Agency COVID-19: How to include marginalized and vulnerable people in risk communication and community engagement, Inter-Agency, 13 March 2020

A guide to preventing and addressing social stigma Target audience: Government, media and local organisations working on the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

UNICEF COVID19 IEC MATERIALS: Respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette in Somali and English languages

WHO COVID19_Case_Definitions_Poster_A1 Standard case definitions: Routine surveillance

WHO General infographics and video can be found here

WHO Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public

Poster on food safety health advice in COVID19


Gender & GBV

IASC briefing on the Impact of COVID-19 on women and girls, webinar held on 8 July 2020. This webinar explored those impacts and strengthened understanding of gender issues in humanitarian action through real stories on the ground, shared by expert panelists, and an interactive discussion with participants.

IASC IASC Gender Reference Group - Gender Alert for COVID-19: Provides some key standards to guide the integration of gender into formulation and implementation of COVID-19 preparedness and response plans

Interagency GBV risk mitigation and Covid tipsheet This document is intended to support non-GBV specialist humanitarian actors to identify COVID-19, GBV-specific risks in their sectors, and take actions to mitigate those risks.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Women This policy brief focuses on the impacts of COVID-19, exploring how women and girls’ lives are changing in the face of COVID- 19, and outlining suggested priority measures to accompany both the immediate response and longer-term recovery efforts.

Gender & COVID-19  COVID-19 is impacting the lives of women, men, girls and boys differently. And the impacts of COVID-19 also vary – in their nature and magnitude – by other social and identity markers, like age, disability, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, colour, civil status and race. This paper provides some of the ways why gender matters in understanding and responding to the impacts of COVID-19.

Social science support for COVID-19: Lessons Learned Brief 2 - Gender inclusiveness in COVID-19 humanitarian response operations, evidence from social sciences outbreak research summary and pdf here

CARE GLOBAL RAPID GENDER ANALYSIS FOR COVID-19 This report is for humanitarians working in fragile contexts that are likely to be affected by the COVID-19 crisis. It is organised around broad themes and areas of focus of particular importance to those whose programming advances gender equality and reduces gender inequalities. It seeks to deepen the current gender analysis available by encompassing learning from global gender data available for the COVID-19 public health emergency. Informed by lessons learned from past public health emergencies, CARE’s analysis shows that COVID-19 outbreaks in development or humanitarian contexts could disproportionately affect women and girls in a number of ways, including adverse effects on their education, food security and nutrition, health, livelihoods, and protection and therefore CARE has also released a paper on Gender Implications of COVID-19 Outbreaks in Development and Humanitarian Settings. The executive summary can be downloaded here.

Gender in Humanitarian Action Asia and the Pacific has published The COVID-19 Outbreak and Gender: Key Advocacy Points  with detailed analysis on emerging gender impacts and recommendations.


Donor Cash Forum Humanitarian Cash Transfers in the Response to COVID-19 Prepared by the Donor Cash Forum, including the EU (DG ECHO), Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, this paper is intended to serve as a basis for engagement with our partners on how they deliver cash programmes and alignment of our funding and engagement, where appropriate.

WHO and Global Health Cluster Cash Task Team April 2020 Guidance-note-CVA-COVID Guidance note on the role of Cash and Voucher Assistance to reduce financial barriers in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in countries targeted by the Global Humanitarian Response Plan COVID-19

Mercy Corps Tipsheet_Covid-19-and-CVA_FINAL-for-dissemination

UNICEF Humanitarian Cash Transfers and Covid-19-Key messages Recommendations for ongoing and future interventions

ICRC Implications de la pandémie COVID19 sur transferts monétaires_V1_FR_EXT

Mental health and psychosocial

IASC Guidance on Operational Considerations for Multisectoral Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Programmes during the COVID-19 Pandemic contains a wealth of information and practical approaches that will allow humanitarian agencies to adapt and implement multisectoral MHPSS interventions in their humanitarian operations in the 64 countries prioritized by the COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan and beyond.

IASC Guidance on Basic Psychosocial Skills - A Guide for COVID-19 Responders aims at building basic psychosocial skills among all essential workers responding to COVID-19.

IASC Interim Briefing Note on COVID-19 Outbreak-MHPSS aspects February 2020: This briefing note summarizes key mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) considerations in relation to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The brief was last updated February 2020.

WHO Mental health and psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak: The considerations presented in this document have been developed by the WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Use as a series of messages that can be used in communications to support mental and psychosocial well-being in different target groups during the outbreak.


Secretary-General Policy Brief on a disability- inclusive response to COVID-19, released on May 6, 2020. This Brief highlights factors contributing to vulnerability of persons with disabilities to COVID-19 and key elements of an inclusive response.

Disability Advisory Group for the DFID-UN SBC Disability Inclusion: Tip sheet for GHRP update The tip sheet aims to strengthen disability inclusion within the new update of COVID-19 Global HRP in a practical and actionable way.

UNICEF COVID-19 response considerations for people with disabilities 19 March This guidance note aims to provide key messages, practical steps, and recommendations to be easily adopted internally and facilitate UNICEF inclusive COVID-19 response and coordination support within the global clusters and AORs.


IASC Checklist to Protect from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse during COVID-19 is meant to be used as a quick reference card, representing minimum actions for project managers delivering in the field and in remote locations.

Child Protection AoR Global mapping developed to ensure that children's protection needs are central to the response planning for COVID19, and that we make use of available data to understand and track settings of greatest concern. Please note data, especially that from country level is being updated regularly as it becomes available and that data is being presented with clear sources but without representing any particular position or view.

HelpAge Protecting older people during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic

COVID-19 control in low-income settings and displaced populations


Interim Guidance on Localization and the COVID-19 Response This interim guidance note has been developed in response to the outbreak of COVID-19 and its likely impact on humanitarian operations around the world, building on work done by the Grand Bargain localization Workstream1. It provides guidance as to how the international humanitarian community can adapt its delivery modalities in response to COVID-19 consistent with existing commitments on localization of aid,2 strengthening partnerships with local and national actors, and operating effectively in an environment affected by COVID-19. It is relevant to all countries covered by the COVID- 19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP).

Country specific documents

Other clusters


GCCG selected cluster guidance documents on COVID-19


IPA and UNICEF have jointly released an information brief on Epidemiology, Spectrum, and Impact of COVID-19 on Children, Adolescents, and Pregnant Women. It highlights what is known regarding COVID-19 in children and adolescents, Clinical presentation and disease severity, Management of COVID-19 in children and key recommendations and actions for pediatricians and physicians caring for children and adolescents in the context of COVID-19.


UNICEF UNICEF-COVID-19 WASH programme contribution to COVID-19 prevention and response - Overarching Document - March 2020

Food Security

FAO Addressing the impacts of COVID-19 in food crises Humanitarian Liaison Working Group | New York | 4 May 2020

FSIN Global Report on Food Crisis 2020 The data and the analyses in this report were prepared before the global crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic and do not account for its impact on vulnerable people in food-crisis situations. Page four has content on Mobilizing for the impact of COVID-19 in food-crisis countries.

gFSC has developed a dedicated webpage for COVID 19. If interested, the gFSC issues a FSC digest which is also available here

FAO, UNICEF, WFP. Mitigating the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Food and Nutrition of School children (6 April 2020)

UNSCN The COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting people’s food environments: a resource list on Food Systems and Nutrition responses

Country specific documents



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