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Task 4

Develop a participation plan


Develop a plan and calendar for communication and consultation

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  • Identify and prioritise communication activities
    • Determine what format (eg use of graphs) will reach the audience most effectively
    • Assemble the required resources (e.g. staff, technical expertise, travel support, meeting locations)
    • Establish ground rules for communication, and bridge communication gaps
    • The urgency of communicating the message will determine the channels of communication, which may include audio visual or written communication, social media or face to face.
    • To inform Q1 stakeholders about an urgent risk message use your established methods to communicate.
    • To inform Q1 stakeholders about a routine risk message, consider posting the information on your operation’s website and using social media to reinforce it.
  • Identify and prioritize consultation activities for Q2, Q3, and Q4 stakeholders. Some examples may be:
    • Q2 activities: web updates, emails, phone calls
    • Q3 activities: web-based consultations, surveys
    • Q4 activities: face-to-face meetings, key informant interviews, surveys
  • Design a structured consultation process that aligns with the needs you identified in Task 2 and encourages open communication.

If necessary, use resources such as: IAP2 (, NCDD (, Participedia (, World Café (, Open Space, Consensus Conference, or Choicework Dialogue.

  • Prepare your stakeholders (especially Q3 and Q4) for meaningful participation by giving them advance documentation and encouraging them to seek input from their networks.
  • If you have any “red” (negative) stakeholders, develop a strategy for communicating with them.
  • Develop a schedule for your communication and consultation activities (including reports), with timelines matched to your timelines.


Prepare a message that addresses:

  • Public perception and knowledge gaps; be respectful of current attitudes when developing a message to communicate.
  • The nature of the risk: Distinguish between hazard (e.g. emerging pathogen and exposure (e.g. component transfusion) What is the hazard and how does it affect blood? What is the outcome of concern? How does one become exposed? What is the link between exposure and outcome?
  • Who is at risk: Specific groups, vulnerable groups, specific locations, and activities that increase likelihood of exposure, groups that are not at risk (if known).
  • What people can do: Clarify whether risk reduction values are relative or absolute. Recommended precautions such as avoidance of activities or diagnostic tests, signs that medical help is required and where to go for help, where to get more information or support.
  • Address uncertainty only when relevant.

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