NORMalizing Mask-wearing in Urban Areas
In mid-2020, IPA partnered with researchers from Yale University, Stanford University, and other organizations like Green Voice in Bangladesh to research different strategies to increase mask-wearing and measure its impact on COVID-19. They found that the now called NORM model, consisting of No-cost free masks distribution, offering information on mask-wearing, Reinforcement in-person and in public, and Modeling and endorsement by trusted leaders tripled mask-wearing, increased physical distancing and reduced COVID-19. IPA partnered with Shakti Foundation to tweak this rural model into an urban context for Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and replicate the NORM program for an urban population. Overall, the intervention seemed to increase mask-wearing among middle-aged (30 to 50 years old) and men more. It has also been learning to understand the implementation impacts and challenges of the NORM module in urban areas, which has been designed in the rural setting.