Library Element Report

OECD Report on Public Communication. The Global Context and the Way Forward

Uploaded by RRI Tools on 09 February 2022

OECD (2021), OECD Report on Public Communication: The Global Context and the Way Forward, OECD Publishing, Paris,

The report examines the public communication structures, mandates and practices of centres of governments and ministries of health from 46 countries, based on the 2020 Understanding Public Communication surveys.

  • It analyses how this important government function contributes to better policies and services, greater citizen trust, and, ultimately, stronger democracies in an increasingly complex information environment.
  • It looks at the role public communication can play in responding to the challenges posed by the spread of mis- and disinformation and in building more resilient media and information ecosystems.
  • It also makes the case for a more strategic use of communication by governments, both to pursue policy objectives and promote more open governments, by providing an extensive mapping of trends, gaps and lessons learned.
  • Finally, it highlights pioneering efforts to move towards the professionalisation of the government communication function and identifies areas for further research to support this transition.
  • Foreword
  • Executive summary
  • Redefining the role of public communication in an evolving information ecosystem
  • Towards a more effective use of public communication: Key governance pillars
  • Evidence-based and data-driven public communication
  • Evaluating public communication
  • Communicating in an evolving and fast-paced digital age
  • Public communication responses to the challenges of mis- and disinformation
  • Communication applications for openness and improved public policies and services
  • Methodology


  1. Empower the public communication function by setting appropriate mandates and developing strategies to guide the delivery of communication in the service of policy objectives and of the open government principles of transparency, integrity, accountability and stakeholder participation; and separating it, to the extent possible, from political communication.
  2. Institutionalise and professionalise communications units to have sufficient capacity, including by embedding the necessary skills and specialisations that are leading the transformation of the field, and ensuring adequate human and financial resources.
  3. Transition towards a more informed communication, built around measurable policy objectives and grounded in evidence, through the acquisition of insights in the behaviours, perceptions, and preferences of diverse publics, and the evaluation of its activities against impact metrics.
  4. Seize the potential of digital tech but responsibly: Digital tools, data, and AI can facilitate greater engagement and inclusion if used ethically and with respect for privacy.
  5. Fight mis and disinformation. Government must be equipped to pre-empt and debunk mis and disinformation through clear practice and guidelines.

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