Turning Social Listening Data into Action: Barriers and Recommendations Observed through a COVID-19 Rumor Response

Posada, A., Iñigo, R. L. and Sport, J.
Publication language
Date published
23 Feb 2023
Research, reports and studies
Data approaches, Data collection tools, Messaging app & Social Media
Internews, USAID, USAID

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen an unprecedented increase in the use of social listening methodologies for humanitarian and health response, Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE), and “infodemic”1 management. While social listening for humanitarian and health purposes is not new, the pandemic has dramatically increased its adoption due to the challenges associated with in-person community engagement when emergency public health and social measures (PHSM) are active. This increased attention has resulted in a variety of social listening outputs that are produced by humanitarian and health organizations and disseminated in various Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) spaces at the national, regional, and global level. However, there is a gap in evidence when it comes the actual impacts of its utilization.

This research presents an initial review of the potential impacts of, and barriers to, the effective use of social listening data. The study differentiates social listening from community feedback mechanisms, given that the use and impacts of the former have already been widely studied. This study observes barriers, challenges, and potential impacts for social listening activities both on and offline.