A Conceptual Framework for the Evaluation of Emergency Risk Communications

Am J Public Health. 2017 Sep;107(S2):S208-S214. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2017.304040.


Objectives: To articulate a conceptual framework in support of evaluation activities in emergency risk communications (ERC).

Methods: The framework proposed is based on a systematic review of the scientific literature (2001-2016) combined with data derived from a series of semistructured interviews with experts and practitioners in ERC, and it is designed to support local, national, and international public health organizations in implementing evaluation studies in ERC.

Results: We identified a list of ERC outcomes from the full-text review of 152 articles and categorized these into 3 groups, depending upon the level at which the outcome was measured: (1) information environment, (2) population, and (3) public health system. We analyzed interviewees' data from 18 interviews to identify practices and processes related to the effectiveness of ERC and included these as key structural components and processes in the developed evaluation framework.

Conclusions: Researchers and public health practitioners interested in the evaluation of ERC can use the conceptual framework described in this article to guide the development of evaluation studies and methods for assessing communication outcomes related to public health emergencies.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Emergency Medical Services / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Public Health Administration*
  • Risk Assessment / methods*