Global Health Gets Social

Rebecca Shore

CCP | Program Officer II

Sally Zweimueller

The Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Program/ICF International | Senior Communication Specialist
© 2013 We Are Here, Courtesy of Photoshare

Protesters wave a Egyptian flag as the activities during the Egyptian Revolution are captured on a tablet computer.

In 2012, when the Social Media for Global Health and Development working group started, many people were searching for some guidance on how to do social media for global health. The group started small, with just a few interested organizations, and has since grown to over 500 around the world.

In the past three years, the need for social media technical assistance has grown with more than just communications professionals. On a regular basis, Sally Zweimueller of The Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Program and I field requests from colleagues and in-country staff to teach them the basics of social media for global health. That is where the idea for the new USAID Global Health eLearning Center course, Social Media for Global Health and Development, originated. Instead of repeatedly giving the same presentation, we decided to provide all the information in one free and easy-to-use place.

The course provides an introduction to social media and how it can be used in global health and development. It gives a rationale for why social media is important, with examples from organizations such as DefeatDD, Maternal and Child Survival Program, and the USAID | DELIVER PROJECT. The course also provides an overview of the top global platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and more. Global health and development professionals can learn how to integrate social media within their programs with a step-by-step guide to creating a strategy and measuring social media.

The course targets beginner to intermediate social media users. There are helpful hints, case studies, and links to more information so learners can start their social media and do it effectively.