Building Communication Capacity to Counter Infectious Disease Threats: Proceedings of a Workshop


Note: Proceedings contain the opinion of the presenters, but do NOT reflect the conclusions of the Health and Medicine Division or the National Academies. Learn more about the differences between Reports and Proceedings.

Building communication capacity is a critical piece of preparing for, detecting, and responding to infectious disease threats. Various organizations, including CDC and WHO, have provided guidance on developing frameworks, standards, protocols, and conceptual approaches to communicating critical information during infectious disease outbreaks. Furthermore, governments and nongovernmental organizations have developed and implemented plans to address the gaps in communication capacity during these situations. Despite the progress, many governments have not streamlined, integrated, or translated these approaches into effective practice and self-reported to lack the full implementation of risk communication capacity as defined under the IHR. Within this context, the Forum on Microbial Threats of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine convened a 1.5 day workshop 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. This workshop brought together stakeholders at different levels of outbreak detection, preparedness, and response. They 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. The workshop rapporteurs have prepared this proceedings as a factual summation of workshop featured invited presentations and discussions that aimed to meet the workshop’s objectives.