Health Security and Pandemic Response

A COnsumer-Powered
Aproach to COVID-19

COVID information, prevention, vaccines and treatment are integral to stemming the rising tide of global infections. PSI is at the frontline.  Since COVID's start, we've adapted 300 of our healthcare programs across PSI’s 40 countries – reaching 100+ million people with COVID-19 prevention and vaccine hesitancy communications.

But there's still more left to do. The good news: we're on it

From the community-level
to the national health systems

We're harnessing our 50+ years of expertise leading rapid evidence generation, social and behavior change interventions, private and public sector engagement, and digital solutions to support consumers to access and health systems to provide critical healthcare services, including COVID-19 vaccines and treatment.

Prevention, testing, data analytics, agile behavior change campaigns, and vaccination promotion are core to PSI’s goal to suppress transmission and reduce exposure. Prevention activities include:
  • Mass media and social media campaigns that have reached over 100 million people with prevention messaging to support and reinforce behavior change.
  • Support national vaccination delivery services.
  • Disease surveillance digital tools that are being used within our private sector network and have been influenced by our long history in programs such as HIV/AIDS and malaria.
  • Scaling up distribution of sanitation products, services, and handwashing stations.
  • Supporting manufacturing and distribution of other commodities such as masks and PPE.
Since September 2020, PSI has conducted research into consumer attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccines and converted insights gained into promotion campaigns. Public-facing vaccine hesitancy campaigns have been launched and specific campaigns have been deployed and focused on health workers. New training modules and other interventions have been developed to increase health care capacity whilst also continuing to provide access to essential commodities, PPE, biomedical supplies, and oxygen. PSI research shows that two in five adults in Kenya, Mozambique, and South Africa expressed skepticism toward getting a vaccine. This indicates a great deal of groundwork to be laid in changing consumers’ attitudes toward potential vaccines.

Workforce Training
PSI has developed innovative training modules to deploy over social media channels. Community health workers, providers and health workers in public and private facilities were able to access the training modules over platforms such as WhatsApp. The modules are bite-size and can be repeated as many times as the learner desires. Information retention rates and participation satisfaction have been much higher than the pre- pandemic in-situ forms of training. It has also reached many more vital health workers.

Public Health Emergency Operation Centers
Capacity building of Public Health Emergency Operations Centers (PHEOC) has reinforced governments’ abilities to take full sight of the pandemic in their countries and direct resources and policies accordingly. Partnerships with the governments of Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos, lead to the rapid increase in capacity of PHEOCs. These centers gather rich data from multiple sources that allow for rapid decision-making to respond and get ahead of the pandemic. PSI delivered:

  • Training of government health workers
  • Equipment and improved infrastructure
  • Disease surveillance systems and associated dashboards for decision-making

understanding COVID-19
vaccine hesitancy

We’re in this together. We’re documenting our adaptations and sharing what we’ve learned to pool together best practices as we collectively respond to COVID-19.

And as vaccines become more accessible across the globe, we’re working alongside country teams and with diverse stakeholders to understand COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and build vaccine confidence.

Explore our interactive ArcGIS COVID-19 StoryMap

Adapting Safe Abortion Programs
in response toCOVID-19

This map specifically highlights how six international organizations adapted their safe abortion and post-abortion care (PAC) programs to the evolving COVID-19 context. The map captures their stories of resilience, digital innovation, and persistent advocacy to maintain access to safe abortions and PAC during the pandemic. 

Visit our COVID-19 Safe Abortion Response Map.


Here's how we've mitigated the effects of past and currently ongoing pandemics:

300 programs

adapted in response to COVID-19 across PSI's 40+ countries

100+ million

consumers reached with COVID-19 prevention and vaccine hesitancy communications

114.9 thousand

HIV Self-Testing kits distributed in 2019

2 million

maternal deaths prevented

400 million

insecticide-treated nets distributed since 1997. That's about 20 percent of the global insecticide-treated nets distributed to date.

Join us in fighting COVID-19

We’d love to partner with you. Outreach to one of the PSIers below for more information on how we can work together:

For governments and large foundations: Mark Adams, madams[at]

For philanthropists: Nancy Anderson, nanderson[at]

For corporate partners: Malcolm Quigley, mquigley[at]

For peer organizations: Dr. Eva Lathrop, elathrop[at]

If you’re interested in supporting PSI’s work now, click below. 


Dr. Eva


Global Medical Director



Director, Strategic Partnerships



Vice President, Global Fundraising and Communications



PROJECT DIRECTOR, Delivering Innovation in Self-Care

Dr. Milly


Senior Clinical Advisor for Africa



Senior Technical Advisor, Strategic Research



The Future of Work

With overarching commitments to flexibility in our work, and greater wellbeing for our employees, we want to ensure PSI is positioned for success with a global and holistic view of talent. Under our new “work from (almost) anywhere,” or “WFAA” philosophy, we are making the necessary investments to be an employer of record in more than half of U.S. states, and consider the U.S. as one single labor market for salary purposes. Globally, we recognize the need to compete for talent everywhere; we maintain a talent center in Nairobi and a mini-hub in Abidjan. PSI also already works with our Dutch-based European partner, PSI Europe, and we’re creating a virtual talent center in the UK.


Meaningful Youth Engagement

PSI is firmly committed to the meaningful engagement of young people in our work. As signatories of the Global Consensus Statement on Meaningful Adolescent & Youth Engagement, PSI affirms that young people have a fundamental right to actively and meaningfully engage in all matters that affect their lives. PSI’s commitments aim to serve and partner with diverse young people from 10-24 years, and we have prioritized ethics and integrity in our approach. Read more about our commitments to the three core principles of respect, justice and Do No Harm in the Commitment to Ethics in Youth-Powered Design. And read more about how we are bringing our words to action in our ICPD+25 commitment, Elevating Youth Voices, Building Youth Skills for Health Design.


Zero Tolerance for Modern-Day Slavery and Human Trafficking

PSI works to ensure that its operations and supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking. Read more about this commitment in our policy statement, endorsed by the PSI Board of Directors.



Since 2017, PSI has been a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, a commitment to align strategies and operations with universal principles of human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption. Read about PSI’s commitment to the UN Global Compact here.


Environmental Sustainability

The health of PSI’s consumers is inextricably linked to the health of our planet. That’s why we’ve joined the Climate Accountability in Development as part of our commitment to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030. Read about our commitment to environmental sustainability.


Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity

PSI does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, marital status, genetic information, disability, protected veteran status or any other classification protected by applicable federal, state or local law. Read our full affirmative action and equal employment opportunity policy here.


Zero Tolerance for Discrimination and Harassment

PSI is committed to establishing and maintaining a work environment that fosters harmonious, productive working relationships and encourages mutual respect among team members. Read our policy against discrimination and harassment here.

PSI is committed to serving all health consumers with respect, and strives for the highest standards of ethical behavior. PSI is dedicated to complying with the letter and spirit of all laws, regulations and contractual obligations to which it is subject, and to ensuring that all funds with which it is entrusted are used to achieve maximum impact on its programs. PSI provides exceptionally strong financial, operational and program management systems to ensure rigorous internal controls are in place to prevent and detect fraud, waste and abuse and ensure compliance with the highest standards. Essential to this commitment is protecting the safety and well-being of our program consumers, including the most vulnerable, such as women and children. PSI maintains zero tolerance for child abuse, sexual abuse, or exploitative acts or threats by our employees, consultants, volunteers or anyone associated with the delivery of our programs and services, and takes seriously all complaints of misconduct brought to our attention.


Diversity and Inclusion

PSI affirms its commitment to diversity and believes that when people feel respected and included they can be more honest, collaborative and successful. We believe that everyone deserves respect and equal treatment regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, cultural background or religious beliefs. Read our commitment to diversity and inclusion here. Plus, we’ve signed the CREED Pledge for Racial and Ethnic Equity. Learn more.


Gender Equality

PSI affirms gender equality is a universal human right and the achievement of it is essential to PSI’s mission. Read about our commitment to gender equality here.


01 #PeoplePowered

02 Breaking Taboos

03 Moving Care Closer to Consumers

04 Innovating on Investments

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