The public health communication community has more tools and mechanisms at its disposal than ever before, but we are also facing increasingly complex public health challenges ushered in by globalization, urbanization, conflict, and connective technologies. We are connected in unprecedented ways, but despite this fact there remains a lack of consistent and coherent communication among responders, within health systems and across the public domain.
In light of this persistent problem, KYNE and News Deeply, supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, convened a meeting on Effective Public Health Communication in an Interconnected World: Enhancing Resilience to Health Crises, held at the Bellagio Center in Bellagio, Italy, in October 2015. At the convening, 18 experts in communication, public health, and emergency response came together to detail areas of alignment and gaps.
This report seeks to distill those lessons learned and contribute to the research base on public health communication in times of crisis, by detailing key takeaways from the convening. News Deeply also conducted interviews with participants, as well as external reviews with community organizations and leaders, to inform the body of the report. In addition, we have synthesized case studies from three participants across different regional contexts: the 2013–15 Ebola crisis in West Africa, the SARS epidemic of 2003 in Singapore, and the 2015 Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in New York City.