Changes in public behavior through knowledge dissemination: task force

Changes in public behavior through knowledge dissemination: task force

Head of the COVID-19 Handling Task Force's behavior change team, Dr. Sonny Harry B. Harmady, speaks at a virtual discussion here on Friday (Sept 3, 2021). ANTARA/Prisca Triferna/FR

The early condition is to provide a clear knowledge with clear message to every individual
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Changes in people's behavior must be encouraged through dissemination of clear knowledge to form internal and external control, head of the COVID-19 Handling Task Force's behavior change team, Dr. Sonny Harry B. Harmady, has said.

"The early condition is to provide a clear knowledge with clear message to every individual," Harmady noted during a virtual discussion organized by the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), accessed here on Friday.

Changing behavior requires a long process, but the COVID-19 has led to a scenario where everyone is racing against time, he said.

To this end, the COVID-19 Handling Task Force has made an effort to build the public's internal control to comply with the health protocols, such as wearing a mask, maintaining distance, and washing hands, he explained.

A clear knowledge can create internal control, he added.

However, internal control is not enough since there is a risk of conformity whenever someone is in an environment where the participants do not adhere to the health protocol, Harmady noted.

"That is why we have to build external control by disseminating knowledge. The intervention is not done individually, but within the context of the family and community," he asserted.

This is because interventions through families and communities can build a new collective norm that dictates what needs to be done when facing the pandemic and stem the spread of COVID-19, he explained.

Harmady noted that internalizing new values and forming new habits can be done through repetition of knowledge circulation.

"Our intervention strategy will not just apply to individuals, but to families, communities, and institutions also," he added.

The first case of COVID-19 in Indonesia was officially confirmed on March 2, 2020.

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