Mainstreaming infodemic management in learning and teaching programmes: a report from a WHO technical consultation

World Health Organization Technical Consultation: Building a global curriculum for infodemic management

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Abstract

Executive summary
This report summarizes major themes and outputs of the WHO Technical Consultation on Building a Global
Curriculum for Infodemic Management held in Belgrade, Serbia, 21-23 March 2023 (Meeting programme in Annex 1). With the overall goal of consolidating and aligning global efforts to build the infodemic management preparedness capacities for the future, this global meeting was planned around its two objectives – reaching a consensus on the principles and approaches for mainstreaming infodemic management/infodemiology into existing learning and teaching programmes; and discussing the establishment of a network for education and training in the emerging public health practice of infodemic management and underlyingc science of infodemiology.
The two-day Technical Consultation on mainstreaming infodemic management into learning and teaching
programmes, followed by a full-day workshop on immersive simulation design, convened a diverse group
of academics from various disciplines, health authorities, field epidemiologists, professional associations,
WHO experts and independent observers from across six WHO regions. Reflecting the multidisciplinarity of infodemiology and infodemic management, this diversity of expertise facilitated a comprehensive discussion of training current and future infodemic management workforce.
Meeting participants reached an understanding that there is an extensive practice of infodemic management which emerged in response to COVID-19 infodemic. The demand for infodemic management skills is likely to remain high, necessitating actions to prepare the health workforce for future infodemics, while bolstering the skills of the current workforce. To ensure that, emphasis should be made on mainstreaming infodemic management concepts within existing training programmes and priority job profiles.
Development of curricula for infodemic management should be adapted to various types of training programmes, while serving the needs of different job profiles and employing appropriate learning approaches.
Applied emergency and outbreak response worker training focuses on the frontline public health experts that constitute the surge workforce during an outbreak or health emergency, and include profiles such as field epidemiology, emergency operations, crisis and emergency communications, and others. With an extensive list of priority profiles, pre-service undergraduate or graduate training covers a wide range of academic programme types and levels, and allows to integrate the infodemiology training at a certificate level. Continuing professional development and in-service training are effective ways to upskill the current health workforce; different in their scope and purpose, the two modalities of continuing education have different priority profiles for introducing infodemic management training.
Past three years have seen a rapid evolution of the infodemic manager community of practice which can be formalized as a Network for education and training in infodemic management. Network’s priority areas of action can, among others, include establishing collaborations with WHO and WHO Academy, fostering crossinstitutional cooperation and joint initiatives, and mapping and engaging with existing training networks for public health. The Consultation concluded by recapitulating a great interest in the group to establish a formal network, and invited participants to share further ideas and suggestions for formalizing the Network for education and training in infodemic management.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGeneva
PublisherWorld Health Organization
Number of pages56
ISBN (Electronic)978-92-4-008149-9
ISBN (Print)978-92-4-008150-5
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventWorld Health Organization Technical Consultation: Building a global curriculum for infodemic management - Faculty of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia
Duration: 21 Mar 202323 Mar 2023

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