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Why the UN is Harnessing the Power of Creativity in the Covid-19 Fight

London, UK
Dawda Jobarteh, Global Head of the SDG Strategy Hub explains the open brief for creatives to help with coronavirus communications
Yesterday we published news that the United Nations had put out a global, open call to the world’s creative community to harness ideas and already existing projects. The document had been circulating on creative WhatsApp groups and social channels, and in order to confirm its authenticity, Little Black Book reached out to the UN press team. 

As a follow up, Dawda Jobarteh, Global Head of the SDG Strategy at the United Nations Strategy Hub, spoke to Laura Swinton about why they’ve issued a call of six mini-briefs and how creative companies and individuals can get involved.

LBB> Why is the UN is reaching out to creatives on this issue?
Dawda> The World Health Organization (WHO) is leading and coordinating the global health response to COVID-19, helping ensure all countries are ready to prevent, detect, and respond to the pandemic. To be effective, we need people everywhere to adopt public health precautions, act in solidarity and prevent the spread of misinformation. 
Recognising the power of creativity in spreading  critical public health information across languages, cultures and  communities, the UN issued a global call to arms to creatives everywhere to respond to this brief. The response to date has been tremendous.  
LBB> What are the most important messages for creatives to work on at the moment?
Dawda> The UN has identified six key areas of public activation most essential right now, in line with  WHO guidance and advice. 
Personal hygiene (e.g. hand washing, reduce face touching, respiratory hygiene)
Physical distancing (e.g. Maintain at least 2 metres (6 feet) distance between yourself and others)
Know the symptoms (e.g. fever, cough and difficulty breathing)
Kindness contagion (e.g. highlight the need for global and collective solidarity to face the pandemic, inspire and spotlight acts of humanity,  and promote solutions for resilience and recovery)
Myth busting (curtailing fear and misinformation including incorrect advice, conspiracy theories and inflammatory claims which discriminate against certain groups of people)  
Do more, donate  (bring attention to the The COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, to support  WHO’s COVID-19 efforts)

LBB> How should creatives/agencies that want to help get started?
Dawda> If you are a creator or in the industry, we invite you to respond to the brief and come up with your own response to communicate one (or more!) of the six mini briefs (personal hygiene; social distancing; know the symptoms; kindness contagion; myth busting; do more, donate). As next steps, get your best minds together to determine how we can communicate these messages to the audiences you know best, using the techniques you know best. [Once you have a plan ready for dissemination, please sign up through the FORM HERE so that we know how you’re helping and can stay connected. ] 
LBB> What are your hopes for this brief?
Dawda> Our goal is to bring out the best creative minds to reach everyone, everywhere to fight the pandemic, to flatten the curve. By sharing this Brief, we hope to harness the creativity and ingenuity of diverse global networks to amplify WHO’s health messages and foster global solidarity. In this holistic and multi-pronged approach, we are raising ambition, mobilizing all communities, and accelerating sustainable solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.

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