The bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) saga has made painfully evident the limitations of risk communication as a one-way avenue, where information to the public about the risks they face comes after critical policy decisions have already been made. In fact, communication has even been identified as one of the key elements of what went wrong and generated the loss of trust in government discourse and in beef in Europe. This book deals with risk communication as an evolving and interactive process between decision-makers and their publics and underlines the critical importance of creating mechanisms for interaction between policy-makers and stakeholders at all stages of policy-making, in order for risk communication to be effective. The book – the result of a research project carried out in four countries (Italy, Finland, Germany, Great Britain) by an international team of researchers in 2000-2002, supported by the European Commission DG Research and led by the World Health Organization – reports on research into the strategies used by different actors to communicate about BSE and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in four European countries between 1985 and 2000. These actors include the mass media, health information systems, and political actors. The research also assessed the way people construct their perceptions about risk, who they listen to and how they make decisions on risk avoidance. A range of qualitative and quantitative methods used to describe what was said as well as was the perspectives and framework assumptions espoused by those different actors. This chapter discusses how public policy-making institutions can improve their strategies for communicating with the public and with key stakeholder and public interest groups in risk policy-making. Drawing on the "co-evolutionary" approach to policymaking discussed in a previous chapter, this chapter suggests a fairly straightforward but useful distinction between three sequential stages of the policy-making process: "upstream", "midstream" and "downstream". Risk considerations at each of those stages are identified, together with the rationale for engaging public views and those of scientists. This provides a robust framework for understanding risk communication strategies and for identifying how and when they can be improved. The risk communication strategies that do engage with the public from the outset (notably those employed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the United Kingdom and by the government of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany) are living examples of how communication practices do evolve, and of the need to evaluate such experiments as the learning goes on.

Improving Communication Strategies and Engaging with Public Concerns

GASPERONI, Giancarlo;
2006

Abstract

The bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) saga has made painfully evident the limitations of risk communication as a one-way avenue, where information to the public about the risks they face comes after critical policy decisions have already been made. In fact, communication has even been identified as one of the key elements of what went wrong and generated the loss of trust in government discourse and in beef in Europe. This book deals with risk communication as an evolving and interactive process between decision-makers and their publics and underlines the critical importance of creating mechanisms for interaction between policy-makers and stakeholders at all stages of policy-making, in order for risk communication to be effective. The book – the result of a research project carried out in four countries (Italy, Finland, Germany, Great Britain) by an international team of researchers in 2000-2002, supported by the European Commission DG Research and led by the World Health Organization – reports on research into the strategies used by different actors to communicate about BSE and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in four European countries between 1985 and 2000. These actors include the mass media, health information systems, and political actors. The research also assessed the way people construct their perceptions about risk, who they listen to and how they make decisions on risk avoidance. A range of qualitative and quantitative methods used to describe what was said as well as was the perspectives and framework assumptions espoused by those different actors. This chapter discusses how public policy-making institutions can improve their strategies for communicating with the public and with key stakeholder and public interest groups in risk policy-making. Drawing on the "co-evolutionary" approach to policymaking discussed in a previous chapter, this chapter suggests a fairly straightforward but useful distinction between three sequential stages of the policy-making process: "upstream", "midstream" and "downstream". Risk considerations at each of those stages are identified, together with the rationale for engaging public views and those of scientists. This provides a robust framework for understanding risk communication strategies and for identifying how and when they can be improved. The risk communication strategies that do engage with the public from the outset (notably those employed by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in the United Kingdom and by the government of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany) are living examples of how communication practices do evolve, and of the need to evaluate such experiments as the learning goes on.
Health, Hazards, and Public Debate: Lessons for Risk Communication from the BSE/CJD Saga
264
281
Millstone E.; van Zwanenberg P.; Bauer M.; Dora C.; Dowler E.; Draper A.; Dressel K.; Gasperoni G.; Green J.; Koivusalo M.; Ollila E.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/15877
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