Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) has teamed up with Young Bangla, a youth volunteering platform, launching a mass-masking campaign to help increase proper mask-wearing in Dhaka significantly and reduce Covid-19 transmission saving thousands of lives.
The campaign, led by the city corporation Mayor Md Atiqul Islam, was brought forth in partnership with local and global organizations Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), Yale University, Stanford Medical School, Centre for Research and Information (CRI), Shakti Foundation for Disadvantaged Women, BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), and BD Clean.
Around 100 volunteers from Young Bangla, the youth secretariat of the ruling Awami League's research wing Centre for Research & Information (CRI), teamed up with the organizations to leverage the impact created by the life-saving initiative.
In the first design meeting of the campaign, the Mayor said, “We need to learn how to manage our lives to cope with the threat of Covid. Proper mask wearing is a critical part of that. This challenge needs broad partnership. I am very happy that we are forming a global partnership — the DNCC Mass Masking Campaign—to tackle this big challenge.”
The Mass Masking Campaign is based on a model called NORM (NORMalize mask-wearing model). Developed by Yale University, Stanford University, and IPA, in partnership with GreenVoice, a local NGO, NORM was rigorously researched using a large-scale randomized evaluation.
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The research was similar to vaccine trials, involving 350,000 people across 600 unions throughout Bangladesh for the last four months. NORM for rural Bangladesh includes
four components: distributing free masks, offering information on mask-wearing, reinforcing mask-wearing in-person and in public, and modeling and endorsement by trusted leaders.