Rapid Analysis of the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic Response for the Development of Preparedness Measures for Public Communication

11 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2022

See all articles by Elena Savoia

Elena Savoia

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Rachael Piltch-Loeb

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Evelyn Masterson

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Marcia A. Testa

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Maria Pia Fantini

Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences (DIBINEM), Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna

Svetla Tsolova

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

Date Written: July 26, 2022

Abstract

The scope of this analysis is to identify specific challenges experienced by government officials during the COVID-19 pandemic when communicating with the public. The review included five EU member states: Italy, Germany, Finland, Croatia, and Spain, and focused on the first calendar year of the pandemic (February-December 2020), with implications for preparedness and response efforts. The ultimate goal was to identify preparedness efforts needed for future crisis in the area of emergency risk communication. This analysis draws upon a rapid scoping literature review and discussions with government officials leading or supporting the public communications efforts at the Ministries of Health. The ECDC preparedness logic and competency models were adopted as theoretical frameworks for organising this analysis. Our findings indicate that the pandemic highlighted the need to more effectively integrate risk communication approaches and strategies across government units, to better tailor communication messages to the different segments of the population, develop partnerships with public and private companies (i.e., social media companies), and leverage the use of analytical tools (e.g., social media data analysis) to tackle the infodemic and potential spread of misinformation.

Suggested Citation

Savoia, Elena and Piltch-Loeb, Rachael and Masterson, Evelyn and Testa, Marcia A. and Fantini, Maria Pia and Tsolova, Svetla, Rapid Analysis of the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic Response for the Development of Preparedness Measures for Public Communication (July 26, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4174475 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4174475

Elena Savoia (Contact Author)

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health ( email )

Boston, MA 02115
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/preparedness

Rachael Piltch-Loeb

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health ( email )

Boston, MA 02115
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/preparedness

Evelyn Masterson

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Boston, MA 02115
United States

Marcia A. Testa

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health ( email )

Boston, MA 02115
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/preparedness

Maria Pia Fantini

Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences (DIBINEM), Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna ( email )

Svetla Tsolova

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

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