PLEASE NOTE: The following document can also be downloaded as a PDF file here (last updated April 15, 2020).

LTL stands for “Language Team Leader”, i.e. a native speaker of a marginalized language who is willing to take on the role of organizing the production of video and/or audio recordings.

A. Preliminary info

1. Why is there a protocol?

  • The goal of this project is not just to translate public health information in as many languages as possible.
  • Rather, we need to make sure that the message is both especially memorable to hearers and totally in line with WHO recommendations.
  • For this reason, there is a strict protocol that MUST be followed.
  • You, as Language Team Leader (henceforth LTL), are expected to be the main guarantor that this protocol is adhered to.
  • We realize this requires extra efforts for you and your Language Team. In order to make this workflow as easy as possible, we will provide you with a toolkit.

2. What is inside the toolkit?

  • This presentation (“Protocol”)
  • A comprehensive text containing key information that can save lives and stop the spread of coronavirus (“Reference text”)
  • Scripts the speaker can follow when recording a video or an audio file (“Scripts”)
  • Help sheets meant to guide LTL to the creation of media (“Help Sheets”)

B. Before recording

1. Things the LTL does before recording

  • Identify a speaker who is widely-known and highly-esteemed by the whole speech community and is also available to make the recording.
  • The LTL will judge whether the final message contains the expected information and does not spread rumors or other unverified information. This means that the LTL must be familiar with the Reference Text.
  • Share the Reference Text with Team members: ideally everyone should read it.
  • Collect any possible questions or doubts Team members may have about the Reference Text and share them as soon as possible with General Management.
  • The LTL takes a quiz to verify he/she has understood the Reference Text.

2. Choosing the speaker

  • The speaker should be:
    • fully fluent in the local language,
    • a well-known and highly-esteemed person in the community
    • easily reachable by the LTL
    • familiar with taking photos and videos with a smartphone (see below)


  • Minimize or avoid meetings if the speaker does not live with you
  • The speaker should be able (or instructed) to make the recording on his/her own, or live with someone who can be of assistance.
  • The LTL must ensure that the speaker will not share the recording until it is approved by the General Management.

3. Planning the translation

  • The easiest way to do the translation is to focus on the scripts directly.
  • Scripts are based on the Reference Text, which comes from official recommendations of the World Health Organization.
  • In any case, the advice should be adapted to the local context with information that is not included in the Reference Text nor in the scripts. For example:
    • Some people may be used to (ritually) share a cup when drinking some special drinks, and they should be advised not to do that until the epidemic is over.
    • If a village has a festival coming up soon, people should be advised to postpone it.
    • Are there local cultural practices that need to be addressed? E.g. funerals.
    • Is there a good proverb that can be used to emphasize an important point?

Remember: The goal is to take a “global” message and help ensure it is understood and accepted in the local context 9

4. Support for translation

If you have any questions about how to best translate the texts, please contact your assigned Coordinator. We will try to assist you and connect you with a Public Health expert if possible.

The project is run on a voluntary basis. However, we understand uploading audio or video recordings may mean an unplanned extra expenditure. For this reason, project directors are making available limited personal funds to support Language Team Leaders who will need financial assistance so that they can use online tools when needed. If you need this kind of assistance, please let us know as soon as possible.

C. Recording

1. Things the LTL does in the recording stage.

  • Follow the technical help sheet, in particular:
    • Identify a location that is amenable to making the recording
    • Identify the tools needed for the recording
    • Test that the tools work well
    • If speaker is going to make the recording on his/her own, make sure he/she is able to do that and to send the recording to the LTL.
  • Make sure that what the speaker says is not in contrast with the Reference text.
  • Send the recording to your assigned Coordinator.

D. Validating

1. Things the LTL does in the validating stage

In order to avoid confusion, we must share only one version of a recording. This is why the validating stage is key in this project. A recording can be shared only after this stage.

  • Send the recording to your assigned Coordinator.
  • If the recording has technical issues, the Technical manager will assist you
  • Once the recording is technically viable, it will be finalized by the General Management
    • We will add a 10-second introduction to present the topic and the language of the recording. This introduction will be in the major language that the LTL will have chosen as the most widely used in the area where the language is spoken.
  • After this, LTL will receive the recording in its final format from General Management.

E. Sharing

1. Things the LTL does in the sharing stage

  • LTL and Team members can now share the file they received from the project General Management widely.
  • We will send you links to the video in both Youtube and Facebook.
  • LTL are also expected to monitor how the recording is received by the community
    • If there are criticisms or problems of any sort, LTL must inform the General Management as soon as possible at
    • If people ask questions looking for more information about how to protect their health, let General Management know so we can see if we can provide answers

Key contact information

General Management –

Survey Management –

Technical Management –

Social Media Management –