On November 10th 2016 BBC Media Action held a panel discussion entitled, ”Coming of Age: Communication’s role in powering global health’. The event offered an opportunity to consider why the most effective responses to public health challenges faced by developing countries (such as HIV, Ebola, polio, child mortality) are fiercely debated, yet the vital role of communication has rarely been at the centre of these conversations. The event highlighted key themes from BBC Media Action’s new Policy Briefing: Coming of Age: Communication’s Role in Powering Global Health, and included speakers from UNICEF, WHO, USAID, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Wellcome Trust as well as BBC Media Action.
The media has always played a role in shaping the nation of Nepal. Now, in 2016, as a new political settlement continues to be negotiated, that role may prove to be as important as at any time in the country’s history. Based on more than 25 interviews with leading members of Nepal’s media, government, civil society and international development communities as well as audience research carried out by BBC Media Action, this briefing explores some of the key challenges facing the Nepali media. It outlines growing concerns over politicisation and co-option, particularly of the mainstream Kathmandu-based media, as well as other economic and technological challenges facing the media. The briefing further outlines how Nepal’s historically diverse and decentralised media market is increasingly showing signs of fragmentation and discord. It also examines the role that the international development community has played in supporting the Nepali media.
This practice briefing sets out what BBC Media Action learned in delivering and supporting health communication in response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa in 2014–15. It has a particular focus on Sierra Leone as this was the hub of the organisation’s response.
The paper aims to contribute to a body of knowledge about how to best harness and deploy media and communication in public health emergencies. It also underscores the need for the global community to plan and invest in communication long before any crises take hold, to ensure that communication plays a central role in reducing the impact of future crisis events.
The paper sets out the specific communication challenge posed by Ebola and why it was so difficult to get to grips with this in the early months of the outbreak. It then documents when the health communication response became more useful and explores what that tells us about effective media and communication. Finally, it offers recommendations to ensure that media and communication are used to their full potential during other disease outbreaks or humanitarian crises.
Since 2015, more than a million women, men and children have undertaken perilous journeys to reach northern European countries, using unofficial migration routes across the Mediterranean Sea and south-east Europe.
This study provides a snapshot of refugees’ experiences regarding communication and information at different points on their journey, based on interviews with 79 refugees and 45 humanitarian actors. Intended to inform humanitarian agencies responding to the refugee crisis in Europe, it examines the communication behaviours and priority information needs of refugees in three areas: on their journey, in “transit” camps in Greece, and in Germany.
The findings highlight refugees’ need for critical information about how to survive in their current situation, and what their future will hold. Broader communication needs are also presented: refugees expressed their need to be listened to and tell their stories, and participate in dialogue that provides them with physical, social and psychosocial support.
In April 2016, humanitarian agency staff in Greece reviewed the research findings and discussed how they could better meet refugees’ current information and communication needs in this constantly shifting context. The report shares recommendations from agencies and refugees, and concludes with reflections of how media and communication can support in this crisis.
Click here for full report.
The public health communication community has more tools and mechanisms at its disposal than ever before, but is also facing increasingly complex public health challenges ushered in by globalization, urbanization, conflict, and connective technologies. The community is 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, it includes 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.