What is Rooted In Trust?
Rooted in Trust is a global pandemic information response program countering the unprecedented spread of rumors and misinformation related to COVID-19. We work alongside more than 28 media, health and humanitarian organisations to identify harmful misinformation and support their role as trusted information providers in their communities.
We aim to ensure communities have access to accurate, timely and actionable information about COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines, delivered in the languages and formats they prefer, to support well-informed decision making.
This project works in Lebanon, Mali, Colombia, Sudan, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, South Sudan, Yemen, Haiti, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe. Rooted in Trust is a project of the Internews Network, generously funded by the USAID Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance.
Since 2020, Rooted in Trust has tracked more than 36,000 rumors about the virus across 30+ languages, reaching over 100 million people with accurate and relevant information. In response to the unique rumors sourced from each country context, the project has produced a total of over 130 rumor analysis bulletins, 500 radio broadcasts, and 480 other media stories to connect communities directly with timely and accurate COVID-19 information.
Rooted in trust has addressed COVID-19 misinformation through:
How Do We Do It?
Rooted in Trust aims to build stronger information ecosystems in the countries where we work by meeting harmful health-related misinformation with locally informed and led analysis to understand the cultural and behavioural drivers that influence the scale and spread of rumors. We believe that the community needs more than quality information – they also need platforms they trust to ask questions and engage with media and health and humanitarian service providers.
Our activities focus on the most vulnerable groups in the countries where we work, in particular groups who may face additional barriers in accessing quality health information. We support information responders at the global, regional, local, and hyper local levels.
Our Global Technical Advisory Team, supported by the Internews Health Journalism Network , contributes to improving infodemic practices within global and regional forums through support to humanitarian coordination mechanisms, building stronger communication systems between media and health and humanitarian experts and investigating evolving approaches to risk communication and health journalism.
Within our national country contexts, our teams target the direct impacts of health related misinformation on the delivery of health and humanitarian services and trust in local information providers.
Who Is Internews?
At Internews, we believe everyone deserves trustworthy news and information to make informed decisions about their lives and hold power to account. We train journalists and digital rights activists, tackle disinformation, and offer business expertise to help media outlets become financially sustainable. We do all of this in partnership with local communities – who are the people best placed to know what works.
Our Key Issues
Communities are not homogenous. We work to understand the unique information needs and communication preferences of communities impacted by crisis.
Theory of change
Internews believes that, IF accurate, timely, trusted and contextualized information from local media, public health and humanitarian agencies reaches communities affected by both COVID-19 and humanitarian crises, AND IF communities are better equipped to recognize mis- and disinformation regarding COVID-19 and associated treatments and preventions, THEN healthier information ecosystems at both the global and local levels will be established, AND THEN awareness of and trust around COVID-19 vaccines and the wider public health response will be built, AND THEN communities will be better equipped to make well informed health decisions for themselves and their families.