Utilizing local knowledge

The content was developed to be broadly applicable and accessible to communities living near natural bat habitats. While concepts were broadly applicable, the images and text were also adapted to specific local cultural contexts so as to be locally relevant. The picture book’s content was divided into 6 key modules that addressed the topics identified as most relevant by local stakeholders and subject matter experts. A modular format was integral for the various teams to be able to adapt to differing presentation contexts (e.g. short meetings, multi-day workshops) as well as differing risk compositions (e.g. hunting communities, communities with or without bat tourism). Trusted community leaders, such as village elders or community health agents, were identified as individuals who could best fulfill the moderator role as they serve as powerful local actors in combatting rumors and disinformation.


To ensure the content of the bat book was accurately representative of the local culture, input and direction was taken from local leaders and stakeholders. Established relationships between the international PREDICT team and the local actors enabled successful translations and community uptake across numerous countries around the world.

While the overarching concepts communicated in the bat book are derived from global scientific studies, the communication of this information is best done through a local language and format. In addition to the translation of text, the pictures were updated to represent the local community and feedback was collected on diagrams to ensure the message was easily understood. The essential information communicated through the bat book is more readily trusted and accepted by communities when they have a stake in its creation and direction.