Increasing citizen engagement with COVID-19 vaccination campaigns in Guinea-Bissau through acceleration

February 7, 2022

With COVID-19 continuing to affect the way we view and conduct daily interactions; Guinea-Bissau has not been unmarred to its effects. In collaboration with the Health and Social Protection Cluster, the Accelerator Lab was tasked with conducting a cycle to understand how to increase the number of vaccinated citizens in the country. The aim is to vaccinate 70% of the population above 18 years old¹
in the country. So far, 36% of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated². Although the number is significantly high when considering the fragility of the health system in Guinea-Bissau³ as well as its geographical location, more can be done to increase the overall number of vaccinated citizens. 

In December 2021, the Lab began the exploration phase whereby they held one-to-one interviews with all the key stakeholders involved in the vaccination campaigns, namely: High Commissioner for COVID-19, Immunization and Epidemiological Surveillance Service (SIVE), World Health Organization, UNICEF, Red Cross and UNDP to understand the following:

  • Their role during each campaign 

  • Their perceived bottlenecks 

  • What they would change if given the opportunity  

Following these focalized one-to-one sessions, the Lab organized a Collective Intelligence Workshop whereby all the key stakeholders involved got together and engaged in a Problem Tree Analysis activity which allowed them to focus on the SOLUTIONS as opposed to placing blame. The results of the workshop were remarkable, indicating that the biggest bottlenecks during the various campaigns were notably:

  • poor communication; 

  • poor logistics and;

  • unclear responsibilities of each stakeholder involved. 

View full Problem Tree Analysis Mural here.

Several solutions were proposed by stakeholders, which will be analyzed and implemented in the next campaign phase starting in the ensuing weeks , to tackle areas covering: 

  • Consistency in information being disseminated,

  • Citizens' concerns regarding information dissemination,

  • Conduct thorough reviews of campaigns before beginning the next ones.

The next stage of this cycle is to explore the perception of the citizens in Guinea-Bissau, on why they are not getting vaccinated at higher rates? Are the same bottlenecks encountered by the stakeholders having a ripple effect on citizens engagement with each campaign? 

Early Leads for Experimentation

Experiment 1:

Work in collaboration with UNICEF (who has taken over the vaccination campaigns), to develop a campaign that addresses the key stakeholders' concerns: 

  • Timely communication before vaccine expiration, 

  • Consistent information so citizens can build trust,

  • Use this campaign to collect data from users to understand why they are or are not getting vaccinated.

Experiment 2:

During the exploration phase, the challenge of waste management of vaccination campaigns was brought up. The Lab will test how to improve the disposal of the vaccine waste using the two incinerators, one owned by SIVE and the other by UNDP. It became clear during the exploration that the key role of UNDP throughout the campaigns was to be responsible for the disposal of waste. However, due to bottlenecks, there was room for improving the way the incinerators are used, the Accelerator Lab, therefore, designed a test that will allow the incinerators to be used more effectively which will be shared in the next blog of this series. 



² World Health Organization Guinea-Bissau Report of COVID-19 Monitoring, 20 September 2021