SoMA Covid-19

June 2020 - August 2020

Completed project

Somali Media Against Covid-19 (SoMA Covid-19)

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, thanks to the collaboration of its Scuola di giornalismo (School of Journalism), ITSTIME and the University Centre for International Solidarity, partecipates in the project named "Somali Media Against Covid-19 (SoMA Covid-19)", promoted by Caritas Somalia and funded by Conferenza Episcopale Italiana.

Partners in the project are: Perigeo NGO and Zaccharis NGO in Italy; local partners are: PUNTLAND TV & RADIO (WARBAAHINTA DAWLADDA PUNTLAND); Somalia and Puntland Health Bureau and Ministry and Somalia Dryland Solution organization.

The aim of the project is promote population awareness in adopting resilient Covid-19 infection response for prevention and emergency management; promote the specific skills of media journalist and personal communication workers engaged with the population against Covid-19 for communication in a crisis situation; provide specific media products to be broadcasted in Somalia Puntland.

The project has added value far beyond the Covid-19 emergency as it is sustainable and improve the daily health life aspects of the population; crisis communication training is particularly useful in a context of widespread conflict, where this communication becomes an effective tool for conflict resolution.

  • definition of the strategic communication plan tailored on the needs of local partners, governmental (National Health Ministry) and international (WHO) stakeholders in order to prevent and manage the Covid-19 crisis;
  • realization of media products by the 30 Italian journalists of the School of Journalism to produce: a five-episode podcast with radio host and guests on stories of good practices during Covid-19 crisis; a television column on scientific and social issues useful for managing the Covid-19 crisis; texts for printed communication; Languages of will be English and Somali;

  • broadcasting and monitoring the effectiveness of communication as long as the projects runs, to improve it and to evaluate a possible extension of the communication practices to other contexts. Estimated coverage: 3.000.000 people;
  • educational and professional training on "Communication Crisis Management": three meetings intended for local stakeholders (radio/TV communicators, local NGOs, docs, nurse, etc.). Three meetings planned: A- in the initial phase (strategy), B- central (communication mgt.) and C- final (assessment and lesson learned) of the project to promote competence and awareness for crisis communication and for conflict resolution. Tools: video lessons, with live webinars (depends on the conditions of network);
  • broadcasting of the media products via Radio and TV and public print communication going beyond the project itself;
  • evaluation of the results and planning to continue supporting communication against Covid-19 infection.

The project ended at the end of August 2020. The media products (podcasts, video and text products for the press) created by the students of the School of Journalism of Università Cattolica were translated in Somali language. The products were broadcasted by Puntland TV, by 8 local radio stations and through the main social media. Thanks to the broadcasting by Puntaland TV alone, 1 million people were reached.

The training, held by a media expert with competence and experience in media capacity building, formed 25 journalists, providing them skills on communication crisis management. The training materials were also uploaded to the social media platforms and reached other 120 media operators.

Project report