Maryn McKenna, Contributing Writer
Pandemic planners urged to tap grass roots

Apr 17, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Governmental plans for an influenza pandemic are missing an important opportunity to improve US preparedness, according to two new reports: They are not reaching out to communities and grass-roots groups that could refine plan details and increase public support.

Meanwhile, ad hoc communities and preparedness alliances are forming—in the real world and online—with minimal input from government planners. And, confirming the reports’ concerns, some members of those communities say they have networks and resources to offer to official efforts, but are frustrated by their inability to make themselves heard….

“The bureaucrats have done their planning without really thinking about what the rest of us are supposed to do to make the plan succeed. . . . [But] in fairness, the officials probably aren’t finding many grassroots/ad hoc groups to link up with.” [ * ]

There is a risk that the official and activist sides could simply plan past each other [**] , with neither side accessing what the other has to offer. That must be avoided if pandemic planning is to work when the crunch comes, said Schoch-Spana, whose paper includes a list of recommendations for officials.

* It’s easier to not find them if one doesn’t look or refuses participation by those who aren’t members of the official groups.

** see “Metge, Joan and Patricia Kinloch” in the readings

Previous entries that might be of interest–
Don’t ignore grassroots scientists SciDev.Net


Accessibility in paperless world

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