The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) Public Health Network provides a participatory platform for health and non-health sector actors to exchange their expertise and experiences related to public health concerns in Asia and Europe. ASEF promote multi-stakeholder partnerships between representatives from governments, international organisations, business corporations and non-profit organisations. Since its launch in 2009, ASEF Public Health Network has contributed to strengthening Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) partners’ capacity for managing public health emergencies through sharing best practices and analysing lessons learned. The real-life cases that have been featured in ASEF’s past workshops include: 2011 E. coli outbreak in Germany; SARS/H5N1/H1N1 in Singapore; 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake; 2011 Christchurch Earthquake in New Zealand; and 2014 Ebola Virus Outbreak in West Africa.
Public health is an essential aspect of disaster management, because every disaster, be it natural or not, has a negative impact on the physical and mental health of the affected population(s). ASEF’s activities, thus, have a high relevance to the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction. In particular, risk communications for public health emergencies – including disasters – has been ASEF’s focus for the past two years. From 2015 to 2017, ASEF is committed to continue to facilitate the exchange of experience and expertise in this field as part of its contribution to strengthening resilience through effective communications.
ASEF’s target is to strengthen ASEM members’ risk communication capacity for managing public health emergencies. In order to achieve it, ASEF plans to:
• Organise one workshop on risk communications for public health emergencies in Asia in 2015
• Organise one workshop on risk communications for public health emergencies in Europe in 2016
• Disseminate the project results in the form of a handbook and organise a launching seminar in 2017.
The two workshops will discuss real-life cases of public health emergencies in recent years and involve interactive exercises. The workshops will bring together stakeholders across sectors, including: risk communication experts; healthcare providers; academics; representatives from media, governments, international organisations, private corporations and civil society. This will allow the participants to learn lessons and challenges from these events to strengthen their risk communication strategies. The outcomes of ASEF’s workshops on risk communications between 2013 and 2016 will be compiled in a handbook in 2017. This handbook will be used as a tool for education, awareness and advocacy. The target audience includes public health officers, risk communication professionals and their organisations.
• Two workshops and one seminar organised
• Participants’ knowledge on risk communications increased
• At least 30 participants from a variety of ASEM countries and sectors for each activity engaged
• The handbook published
• Announcements of the workshops and the seminar made on ASEF’s web site (www.asef.org)
• Workshop reports that will be made available online
• Feedback forms filled in by participants
• List of participants
• Handbook published in both hardcopy and softcopy
March 2015 - Dec 2017
Ms Hanae HANZAWA
Project Officer, Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF)