Country dialogue during the pandemic: Indonesia shows the virtual way
22 February 2021
Each country that receives support from the Global Fund holds ongoing “country dialogue” where people affected by the diseases can share their experiences and help define programs and services in their communities.
But how can country dialogue occur during the COVID-19 pandemic when most in-person meetings are prohibited? Can they take place virtually and still be inclusive, representative and most importantly, impactful?
Indonesia is showing the virtual way. The Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) responsible for organizing Indonesia’s dialogue is a case study in effective digital engagement.
Virtual success in Indonesia
As the world’s largest country comprised solely of islands, virtual collaboration was already a relatively common practice before the pandemic in Indonesia. In part thanks to its impressive IT infrastructure, the country has one of the highest numbers of internet users in the world.
With COVID-19 speeding up Indonesia’s digital transformation, social media boomed and videoconferencing suddenly became the norm in business. The CCM had to develop a concept note as part of the country dialogue in these rapidly changing conditions.
Normally, they would host a series of in-person meetings and solicit feedback on an independent website with log-in requirements. Instead, the CCM did a “pandemic pivot” to Twitter and Facebook.
They encouraged all representatives in the CCM to engage the community on social media channels in concept note development. They asked questions of the community and captured their responses across channels to feed into the concept note.
Edutainment to engagement
With nearly 8,800 followers on Twitter, the Indonesia AIDS Coalition was a particularly effective partner at sharing content. Tweeting in both English and Indonesian with specific calls to action and helpful resources in creative formats, their messages broke through online and boosted the community’s response.
This YouTube video with an “edutainment” style was especially popular. It provides a visual overview of the Global Fund and its funding model in Indonesian with English subtitles. The illustrations and hand drawing on-screen made the process much more accessible with a fun creative twist.
Social media also empowered individuals in key populations to serve as more effective multipliers. They used their voice and influence with their dedicated followers, helping to spread awareness further and deeper than the conventional channels the CCM relied on more before the pandemic.
Pandemic silver lining
COVID-19 threatens to roll back decades of progress in the fight against the three diseases. But it has also created silver linings. Particularly when it comes to outreach and engagement in a more digital, social world. Advances in technology can help to give voice to the voiceless in country dialogues around the world.
Connect with your Country Coordinating Mechanism to start engaging in your country dialogue. Contact the Global Fund Secretariat with questions or feedback at .