IMEK joins the effort against COVID-19 through the DIAMOND-R project

During the year 2022, the pandemic of COVID-19 keeps being a challenge to Public Health that demands global collaboration on the efforts for mitigating its consequences and the way for facing the new SARS-CoV-2 variants. This implies the emergence and implementation of efficient strategies to monitor the virus spread and to foster vaccination and confidence lack in the government for making decisions (El Tiempo, 2021).

Thus, through a subvention of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University from the United States, worked together with the Public Health Institute of the Javeriana University from Bogotá, Colombia. They sought support from the surveillance of COVID-19 and to increase confidence towards vaccines, along DIAMOND-R project: “Cellphone strategy for the epidemiological surveillance and the effective communication about vaccination against COVID-19”. The objective of this project was to determine the feasibility of using cellphone technologies for strengthening epidemiological surveillance actions, through a cellphone survey, and the vaccination acceptability against COVID-19 by the resident population in Colombia, across voice messages design.

So, to achieve this purpose, IMEK Research Center in Marketing & Development provided qualitative research consultancy, about communication and social marketing, to the Javeriana University of Bogotá, following one of the main activities of the foundation: to provide consultancy services on high-quality research to projects led by academic institutions or organizations with social purposes. Thus, from this project emerged several academics products developed jointly between the universities involved and IMEK, among those, the protocol for a systematic review of communication interventions to promote the acceptance of vaccination (see summary here); articles soon to be published that support the co-design process and implementation of a telephone intervention for the epidemiological surveillance and to strengthen the acceptability of vaccination against COVID-19.

About the DIAMOND-R project:

DIAMOND-R was directed by Andrés Vecino, MD, PhD’16, M.Sc., scientist associated with the Department of International Health at the Bloomberg School, and co-directed by Sandra Agudelo, Ph.D., professor at the Javeriana University.

This project responds to the challenge of improving surveillance (Torres-Quintero et al., 2020; Vecino-Ortiz et al., 2021). To ensure vaccination against COVID-19, we used mobile technology that increases its use in low- and middle-income countries as a channel. This is to systematize the presence of common symptoms of the disease, and to measure the acceptability or disposition towards vaccination among populations from different regions of Colombia.

 About the IDB:

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) was established in December 1959. Its objective is to accelerate economic and social development in Latin America and the Caribbean through loans, technical assistance, and policy guidance; to further its pollution reduction goals, poverty, and sustainable development in the regions of Latin America and the Caribbean (Taken from:

For more information about the universities involved, you visit:


Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo. (2022). Sobre nosotros.

El Tiempo. (2021). Efectos secundarios, la principal preocupación frente a la vacuna.

Torres-Quintero, A., Vega, A., Gibson, D. G., Rodriguez-Patarroyo, M., Puerto, S., Pariyo, G. W., Ali, J., Hyder, A. A., Labrique, A., Selig, H., Peñaloza, R. E., & Vecino-Ortiz, A. I. (2020). Adaptation of a mobile phone health survey for risk factors for noncommunicable diseases in Colombia: A qualitative study. Global Health Action, 13(1), 1809841.

Vecino-Ortiz, A. I., Nagarajan, M., Katumba, K. R., Akhter, S., Tweheyo, R., Gibson, D. G., Ali, J., Rutebemberwa, E., Khan, I. A., Labrique, A., & Pariyo, G. W. (2021). A cost study for mobile phone health surveys using interactive voice response for assessing risk factors of non-communicable diseases. Population Health Metrics, 19(1), 32.

Authors: Caicedo, M J., López Sánchez, M C.

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Stephanie Aya Pastrana, MSc
Adherent Member


Stephanie is an architect from the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali with a master’s degree in Urban Strategies and Design from the University of Edinburgh. She has professional experience in the design and development of architectural projects of different scales, also developing research projects related to the quality of public spaces in Cali (Colombia) and sustainable construction. She currently works as a consultant and full-time professor at the Faculty of Creation and Habitat of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali.