František Ochrana, Michal Plaček and Milan Jan Půček
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A. Krajcovic, J. Zibolenova, E. Halasova and H. Hudeckova
Effective public health risk communication plays an important role in various crisis situations such as natural disasters and catastrophes, accidents, terrorist attacks, epidemics or pandemics, and significantly helps to minimise their negative impacts on health of the public. In our work we focused on communication of the health sector authorities with the public during the A(H1N1) pandemic in 2009-2010. We retrospectively analysed the effectiveness of the information leaflet Personal measures during pandemic flu A(H1N1) issued by the Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic and discovered statistically significant differences in attitudes of various groups of respondents (differing in age and academic background) to design, comprehensibility, and contents of the leaflet, as well as shortcomings in its accessibility and distribution. For preparation of future information materials aimed at epidemics, pandemics and/or other possible crisis situations in Slovakia it is highly recommended to take into consideration specificities and needs of particular target groups of population, ensure effective distribution of information materials, and pay better attention to preparation of the information campaign as the whole.
Arnošt Veselý, František Ochrana and Martin Nekola
The role of evidence in policy-making is one of the most researched topics in public policy and public administration. However, surprisingly little research has been done on how public officials actually use evidence in everyday life practice. Moreover, these studies have been limited to countries that have been influenced by the evidence-based policy movement (EBP). Little is known about how the evidence is conceptualized and utilized in other countries which have not been so strongly influenced by EBP movement. This paper addresses this gap. Using a large-N survey on the Czech ministerial officials and in-depth interviews with them, we explore what is understood under the term of “evidence”, what kind of evidence is used and preferred by public officials and why. In doing so, we use four theoretical perspectives on the use of evidence. We show that despite the long-established tradition of using research in policy-making the importance of research evidence in the Czech Republic is far from being taken for granted. On the contrary, the immediate and personal experience is often preferred over the research findings. The exception to that are census-like statistical data and comparative data published by international organizations. We find some support for the two-communities metaphor, though these communities are not defined by their socio-demographic characteristics, but rather by their internal discourse and understanding of evidence.