South Africa
Overview of research project
For the past years, the South African disaster management fraternity has invested significantly in disaster response and less in disaster risk reduction, in particular risk communication. Such activities transpired since the promulgation of the Disaster Management Act 57 of 2002 and the National Disaster Management Framework of 2005, which mandate its operations. Moreover, these legislations mandate a proactive approach for disaster management institutions. This approach strongly requires the fraternity to place its focus on disaster risk reduction and strategic risk communication is pivotal in this case. With that in mind, this research aims to investigate the role risk communication is playing during the pandemic. While the role of this strategy is significant, the study further investigates its effectiveness in preventing, mitigating, and changing peoples behaviour towards risk avoidance.
Despite the panic and confusion caused by this pandemic, risk communication plays a vital role in the reduction of the spread of this scourge. The World Health Organisation [WHO] defines risk communication as the exchange of real-time information, advice, and opinions between experts and the people facing threats to their health, economic, and social well-being. The purpose of this kind of communication is to enable people at risk to make informed decisions to protect themselves and their families. Key to its success is ensuring adequate comprehension, accurate perception of the disseminated information, and the use of trusted sources. The pandemic has seen Ministers embracing various communication channels sharing information from their portfolio perspective. However, the question of the trustworthiness, usefulness of communicated practices, and effectiveness of their messages and strategies require answers. Another dimension of risk communication is the feasibility of the actions recommended and the ability of the population to complete these actions. Regardless, risk communication aims to share information to change beliefs and behaviour. For convenience purposes, Bloemfontein is the selected study area. The researchers aim to choose participants randomly. Bloemfontein's total population is 556 000. So with a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error of 5%, the study will get a sample population of at least 384. The researchers aim to select participants from each residential area to retrieve a sample representative of the Bloemfontein population. The researchers will use a questionnaire to collect the data required to achieve the research objectives.
Name of researcher/developer
olivia kunguma
Primary organisation
University of the Free State
Opportunity type
Opportunity detail
To obtain a larger population sample to participate in the study during these COVID restrctions and for the study to be able to obtain a sample that can represent a larger population, data collectors will be required. Also, protective clothing such as golves and masks will be required during data collection.
No funding to date to undertake project
Stage of development
Research in progress
Collaboration partner
Central University of Technology
Research Category
Social Science