Launched by Oxfam in 2018, the Community Perception Tracker (CPT) is an approach that uses a mobile tool to enable staff to capture, analyse and understand the perceptions of communities during disease outbreaks.
The CPT process is rooted in our wider Community Engagement approach and contributes to various aspects of the latter’s framework, including context analysis, programme activities, capacity building, coordination and advocacy.
Ideally, the CPT should be set up from the outset of a programme to capitalise on the process’ ability to shape/adapt activities based on the analysis of captured data.
The CPT has been specifically designed for use during disease outbreaks (including Covid-19) but will be adapted in due course to suit other types of emergency response.
The CPT was presented at the Emergency Environmental Health Forum 2021: a recording of the presentation is below. You can also view the poster .
How does the CPT add value to an existing response programme?
1. A Systematic Approach
During a disease outbreak, qualitative information is often informal and subjective, and can be considered anecdotal – rather than integral to the response. By capturing such information in a more systematic manner, we can translate informal data into more purposeful evidence that can inform current and future response activities.
2. Enables Rapid Analysis
We know from previous experience with data collection that the use of digital tools to capture information can support faster, more accurate, data collection in a way that avoids placing burden on programme staff. In so doing, it also provides reports that are rapidly analysed to produce findings that can – in real time – directly impact a humanitarian response.
3. Captures Trends
The rapid analysis of systematically collected data enables us to generate concrete evidence. This enables us to identify relevant trends, anticipate their reoccurrence and thereby inform future responses and preparedness plans.
The following resources have been produced to provide straightforward guidance around use of the CPT and how best to implement the approach into existing response programmes:
Tracking community perceptions in Venezuela during COVID-19
Tracking community perceptions can provide vital information for those working in public health.
In this article, Oxfam explains how the Community Perception Tracker has been used in Venezuela to record communities’ insights and concerns about COVID-19. When discriminatory attitudes towards returnees (particularly a fear of them spreading the virus) were recorded, Oxfam’s local partners were able to respond with interventions designed to promote dialogue and inclusion of returnees using social media and community action plans. The article features how the CPT was used in the response and some key learnings. It is hoped that this tool can be used more widely in responding to disease outbreaks and beyond.
Case Study: Listening and responding to community perceptions associated with the COVID-19 vaccine in Lebanon
In partnership with the London School of Hygiene Medicine (LSHTM) and the Hygiene Hub, Oxfam Lebanon is sharing its experience in using the CPT COVID-19 in their current response and how it played an important role in the responding to refugees’ concerns and challenges related to COVID-19 including access to vaccines.
Watch this video, sharing Oxfam Lebanon and its partner Nabad experience using the CPT
About the CPT Research Project
This research project in collaboration with the London School of Hygiene Medicine (LSHTM), Action contre la Faim (ACF) and their partner Africahead in Zimbabwe, and Oxfam and their partner Nabaad in Lebanon, funded by ELRHA, is looking at how the Community Perception Tracker (CPT) affects iterative implementation of programmes during COVID-19 outbreaks and the perceived acceptability of these public health programmes amongst community members.