What Does it Mean to Engage the Public in the Response to Covid-19?

“Public engagement is particularly important during the covid-19 pandemic when the effectiveness of measures such as masking, social distancing, and vaccination requires cooperation and trust across all sectors of society.”

However, as with previous calls for public engagement, the meaning of “engagement” and its practical implications for Covid-19 response and recovery are complex and at times confusing and unclear.

The authors of this article examine the different types of demands found in calls for public engagement in pandemic decision making and explain how to meet them. They focus on the responsibilities of governments because their decisions have far reaching social consequences, but institutions such as hospital systems, schools, corporations, and universities also make decisions that profoundly affect the communities they serve and should engage affected communities in their decision making.

Last modified: June 1, 2021

Language: English