OECD Report on Public Communication

The Global Context and the Way Forward

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



Seldom has the critical role of public communication been made so evident as in recent years. Revolutionary changes in the information ecosystem have pushed governments to reinvent how they produce, share and consume information and data to remain authoritative sources in the crowded and highly sophisticated world of today’s mass media. This transformation has occurred in parallel to a series of international crises that undermined people’s finances and health, with direct consequences on their trust in the ability of the state to protect them and ensure their well-being.


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