Although everyone has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, there are individuals and communities who were more fragile when it hit, or who were made more vulnerable by its many social, economic and health impacts.

In this extended webinar held on 22 September 2022, jointly organised by Mesh and CONNECT, the speakers introduced digital diaries - short films and photographs, created by healthcare workers and community members in Nepal, Indonesia and Vietnam as they reflect on their experiences of the pandemic. The digital diaries form part of the COVID-19 Social Science and Public Engagement Action Research (SPEAR) project: exploring the experiences and impacts of COVID-19 for healthcare workers and vulnerable communities.

Speakers, including a film maker involved in the project, discussed the practicalities and challenges of engaging with communities during periods of lockdown and restrictions. They also reflected on how the digital diaries method can be an effective and empowering tool to enable individuals to express themselves, and whether these methods can be integrated into social science research studies. The OUCRU team also gave participants a tour of the virtual exhibition that showcases the deeply personal stories which were developed by the participants themselves, and illustrates experiences across three themes: Community Challenges, Healthcare Workers Challenges, and Resilience during the pandemic.

Visit the virtual exhibition of the Digital Diaries: Voices from the Pandemic project (on until 16 Dec 2022):

Click on the images below to view our speakers' presentation slides:


Chair: Dr Mary Chambers, Head of Public Engagement at the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit and Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programme in Vietnam


Yen Hoang Nguyen, Media & Communications Coordinator, Public Engagement Department in the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Vietnam

Dr Gillian Black, Co-director, Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation, South Africa. See Gill's Mesh article on her Frontiers in Public Health paper on the topic

Dinesh Deokota, Director, Media for Development (MFD), Nepal

Prof. Guy Thwaites, Director, Oxford University Clinical Research Unit and Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programme in Vietnam; Professor of Infectious Diseases, University of Oxford.

Agenda | Poster


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