All partners logo eng

Takacs, Ramsbottom, O’brien, & Ciotti (2017). Enablers and barriers to community engagement in public health emergency preparedness: Judit Takacs

Bibliographic details:

Takacs, J., Ramsbottom, A. C., O’brien, E., & Ciotti, L. (2017). Enablers and barriers to community engagement in public health emergency preparednessJudit Takacs. European Journal of Public Health, 27(suppl_3).‏



Background - Public health emergency preparedness (PHEP) all too often focuses on institutional capabilities alone, while overlooking community capabilities. However, success of institutional emergency preparedness plans depend upon communities and institutions working together to ensure successful anticipation, response and recovery. Broader community engagement is therefore recommended worldwide.

Methods – This literature review aimed to identify enablers and barriers to community and institutional synergies in emergency preparedness. Searches were undertaken across bibliographic databases and grey literature sources, published between 2000 and 2016. A ‘best fit’ framework approach using a pre-existing qualitative framework was used to analyze the literature, whereby themes were added and changed as analysis progressed.

Results - In total, 35 documents describing factors influencing community and institution synergies in PHEP were included. A working definition of community was identified, based on a ‘whole community’ approach, inclusive of the whole multitude of stakeholders including community residents and emergency management staff.

Conclusions - Given the diversity in community make-up, the types of emergencies that could be faced, the socio-economic, environmental and political range of communities, the most effective way of engaging communities in emergency preparedness is context-dependent. Engaging vulnerable groups within the community was a theme that repeatedly emerged in the literature. Finding appropriate ways to reach out and engage the range of community groups is an important consideration when developing preparedness initiatives..