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Disaster Relief

  • By: William J. Brown
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

One of the major global health concerns of the 21st century is the effective mobilization of disaster relief. Disasters such as the Asian tsunami of 2004 and the Haitian earthquake of 2010 set in motion massive relief efforts involving many hundreds of relief organizations and government agencies from around the world. Drawing on the lessons learned from major disaster relief efforts in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and the United States, this entry discusses the central role that strategic communication plays in mobilizing effective relief.

In particular, four critical dimensions of communication theory and research that inform disaster relief and influence its overall effectiveness are discussed: (1) the interpersonal communication networks of relief workers, (2) the extent of interagency collaboration, (3) the presence of organizational boundary spanners, ...

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