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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Building Communication Capacity to Counter Infectious Disease Threats: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24738.
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Appendix A

Statement of Task

An ad hoc committee under the auspices of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will plan a 1.5-day public workshop that will examine the role communication plays in countering infectious disease threats. This workshop will explore topics including

  • risk communication as a core capacity for governments to build for preparedness, detection, and response under the International Health Regulations;
  • the role of the United Nations in communicating promptly and adequately the occurrence of these threats and supporting governments to build communication capacity;
  • communication coordination mechanisms among stakeholders and across sectors and regions;
  • risk perception and the role of communities in early detection (e.g., citizen-generated data and bidirectional communication platforms) and support of the response;
  • message development and dissemination for diverse audiences through appropriate materials, media, and other communication channels, as well as methods to manage uncertainty, biased information, and misinformation; and
  • lessons learned in communication from recent epidemics and pandemics.
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Building Communication Capacity to Counter Infectious Disease Threats: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24738.
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Workshop speakers will present current strategies and research done in these areas and identify gaps in the research agenda that may help address communication needs in countering infectious disease threats to advance the field. Workshop speakers and discussants will contribute perspectives from government, academia, and private and nonprofit sectors at the global, national, and local levels. The committee will plan and organize the workshop, select and invite speakers and discussants, and moderate the discussions. A summary of the presentations and discussions at the workshop will be prepared by a designated rapporteur in accordance with institutional guidelines. The designated rapporteur will not be a member of the committee, and no committee members will be used in the development of the workshop summary.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Building Communication Capacity to Counter Infectious Disease Threats: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24738.
×
Page 101
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Statement of Task." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Building Communication Capacity to Counter Infectious Disease Threats: Proceedings of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24738.
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Page 102
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Building communication capacity is a critical piece of preparing for, detecting, and responding to infectious disease threats. The International Health Regulations (IHR) establish risk communication—the real-time exchange of information, advice, and opinions between experts or officials and people who face a threat to their survival, health, and economic or social well-being—as a core capacity that World Health Organization member states must fulfill to strengthen the fight against these threats. Despite global recognition of the importance of complying with IHR, 67 percent of signatory countries report themselves as not compliant. By investing in communication capacity, public health and government officials and civil society organizations facing health crises would be prepared to provide advice, information, and reassurance to the public as well as to rapidly develop messages and community engagement activities that are coordinated and take into account social and behavioral dynamics among all sectors.

To learn about current national and international efforts to develop the capacity to communicate effectively during times of infectious disease outbreaks, and to explore gaps in the research agenda that may help address communication needs to advance the field, the Forum on Microbial Threats of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a 1.5 day workshop on December 13 and 14, 2016, in Washington, DC. Participants reviewed progress and needs in strengthening communication capacity for dealing with infectious disease threats for both outbreaks and routine challenges in the United States and abroad. This publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

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