COVID-19 is threatening health systems and vulnerable populations around the world.

As the world faces the uncertainty of a global pandemic, PSI is on the front lines. We are applying our 50 years of expertise to ensure that the people we serve get access to critical self-care, prevention and healthcare services during the COVID-19 crisis.

How We're Responding to

Immediate Response

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Programming Specific to COVID-19

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Operational Impact

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Future Impact

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Our COVID-19 Solutions

Remote support for health workers

We’ll use our existing digital tools such as e-Learning platforms as a route to provide timely and cost-effective training and support to providers on COVID-19 related matters.

Data capture and reporting from private sector channels

PSI’s digital team is developing options to capture data regarding suspected cases of COVID-19 at private sector clinics and pharmacies and will support contact tracing as part of recommendations for self-isolation.

Digital landscaping

PSI conducts rapid digital landscape analyses of digital penetration and heterogeneity in access to digital platforms. Based on these analyses, PSI will develop interventions that still safely reach these populations with COVID-19-related health communications, including those most effective in reaching high risk groups.

PSI is working to minimize the incidence and impact of COVID-19 by leveraging our global network to promote and increase the adoption of preventative behaviors. These include handwashing, physical distancing, use of facial coverings and other self-care behaviors. PSI is also working with providers to better understand and respond to their information and service-related needs. These activities include:

    • Effective interpersonal and community communications: direct user/community-level engagement and influencer identification, promotion of preventive behaviors through mass media and multi-channel SBC campaigns, and digital ecosystem set-up for information sharing, engagement, self-care support and cyber-education.
    • Increased accessibility and use of prevention products and services: understanding distribution of essential products like soap, disinfectant and sanitation merchandise across high-need areas; and the incorporation of behavioral “nudges” to increase the use of handwashing facilities in households, communities and at clinics/pharmacies.
    • Informed and empowered healthcare workers: rapidly surveying providers to understand contextual barriers and gaps in their ability to respond to client needs and localizing innovative solutions to support them.

Country Level

PSI aligns our work to partner countries’ crisis response plans in many ways. In some cases, PSI expert colleagues are members of national healthcare task forces. PSI’s role is often to provide technical assistance on social behavior change (SBC) and awareness campaigns through multiple channels that include mass and below the line media. PSI also supports governments in conducting real time surveillance through the DHIS2 platform and through implementation in both the public and private sector.

PSI also works to strengthen governments’ response in supporting Emergency Operations Centers with training of key personnel, alignment and coordination of efforts and/or alignment of social behavior change efforts.


PSI sits on five different advisory groups at the WHO, which directly inform global policy and guidelines to WHO member countries. PSI is also a respected participant of many other global forums where we can influence policy and direction such as within other UN bodies, The Global Fund and the World Bank.

Manage risks

PSI supports the scaling of digital tools to help consumers assess their individual risk, self-manage potential exposure and/or symptoms, find nearby testing sites and access alerts from public health authorities.

Mass media

Our mass media channel strategy is based on utilizing the best channels to reach the priority target audience segments identified in each country. Through formative research PSI discerns which channels consumers prefer to receive critical self-care information.

We then design a media strategy that leverages diverse channels aligned around simple messages. The media mix could leverage local radio and TV channels to air educational spots and public service announcements.


PSI strengthens national surveillance tools by increasing capacity of ministries of health for improved and timely surveillance of COVID-19 using DHIS2, the world’s largest health management information system (HMIS) in use in 67 low- and middle-income countries, to accelerate case detection, situation reporting, active surveillance and response for COVID-19.

Private Provider Preparedness
PSI is remotely rolling out a comprehensive suite of COVID-19 information, resources, trainings, and tools to capacity build private providers within its healthcare networks, strengthen preparedness, and shape appropriate behaviors that will reduce transmission of the virus. In many countries where PSI works, the private sector provides over 50% of health services, and so we are both supporting our network members to contribute to the COVID response and to maintain much-needed essential health services within communities.

Private Sector Data Capture & Sharing
PSI is working to rapidly assess the resources of its private sector facilities, and to share this data with Ministries of Health, to facilitate a speedy, holistic health system response to COVID-19. Effective collection, visualization, and use of private sector data on COVID-19 will contribute to national analyses of the COVID-19 response and success of case management.

Domestic Financing
PSI is engaging Ministries of Health to accelerate the development of supply and demand-side financing mechanisms that will allow for the public sector to contract private sector services. This approach allows for Ministries to unlock the potential of the private sector, which can quickly mobilize to contribute to space, staff and materials. Contracting and reimbursement mechanisms, either for consumers or private facilities, significantly increase access to COVID-related testing and care.

Featured Projects

The Power of Primary Care for Mental Health Services

Donor: Lindsay Abrams, Maverick Collective Member

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Strengthening the Emergency Operations Center to Accelerate Malaria Elimination and Prepare for Future Public Health Emergencies in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Donor: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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Self-Care Trailblazers Group

Donor: Children’s Investment Fund Foundation; The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

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Our Impact
on Global Pandemics

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

114,851 kits

Zika prevention kits distributed from 2015 to 2018

2 million

hiv self-test kits distributed in 2019

400 million


Are you interested in helping us fight COVID-19?

We’d love to partner with you. Please reach out to one of the PSI staff members below for more information on how you can work with us.

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: Heather White, hwhite[at]

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


Dr. Eva Lathrop

Global Medical Director PSI

Julia Roberts

Vice President, Global Fundraising PSI

Heather White

Project Director, COVID-19 Rapid Response Support Team PSI

Rodrigo Gramajo

Deputy Director, Global Business Systems PSI

Malcolm Quigley

Deputy Director, Strategic Partnerships PSI

Abigail Winskell

Deputy Director, Global Marketing PSI

Dr. Milly Kaggwa

Senior Clinical Advisor for Africa PSI

Kristen Little

Senior Technical Advisor, Strategic Research PSI

Mathias Pollock

Technical Advisor, Social and Behavior Change PSI

Chris Purdy

Senior Program Manager, Global Business Systems PSI

Christine Vargas

Senior Manager, External Relations & Communications PSI


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