Combatting Zika in Brazil

website-zika banner.png

Tapping Into Facebook Data for Good

In 2015, the Zika virus began to spread widely through Latin America. By February 2016, the Brazilian chapter of UNICEF was running fast to build awareness and increase prevention.

With help from Upswell and Facebook, UNICEF used insights from aggregated, anonymized Facebook data to learn about the audience most actively spreading information about Zika. They used this information to create content for the audience.

website - zika stat.png


The partnership’s goal was to use Facebook data-informed insights and the Facebook platform to get people to take action to protect themselves and their loved ones from Zika.


Campaign posts drove 17.3 million interactions -- people reacting, sharing, or commenting on posts about preventing Zika.

People who saw the content reported that they were more likely to take action to protect themselves against Zika at a statistically significant rate 3% higher than those who did not see the content.

website - zika stat small.png

website-unicef post.png


UNICEF Brazil worked with Upswell and Facebook to understand who was concerned and what their concerns were. Aggregated, anonymized data showed that 16% more men were posting about how to protect themselves from Zika than women.

UNICEF tailored content on Facebook to align with men’s concerns:

  • Practical posts about how to prevent mosquito population growth and bites.

  • Personal posts like a real father’s story about having a child born with microcephaly.

I cannot stress enough how much we have learned about the power of using online insights to engage people.”

-Edith Asibey, Chief of Communication & Partnerships, UNICEF Brazil

web - zika baby.png