Recent Work & Highlights


  • Ben Duncan talks to IARCC about risk communication lessons learned from COVID-19 pandemic, 14 December 2022.
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  • Case studies on COVID-19 risk communication researched and written by Ben Duncan for WHO Regional Office for Europe.
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  • February – March, risk communication pillar lead for COVID-19 at WHO Country Office in the Philippines.
  • June – July working with UN Department to prepare, facilitate and report on webinar COVID-19 and its impact on older people in low & middle income countries.
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  • Part of the risk communication team at WHO Headquarters in Geneva for the opening weeks of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Worked on “mythbusters” to counter mis-information and rumours then developing guidance for and engaging with travel & tourism sector and organisers of large sporting events. Developed and negotiated clearance of advice on Getting your Workplace Ready for COVID-19 (February and early March)
  • Since 9 March, communication lead at WHO Country Office in Lao PDR. Supporting Ministry of Health in its risk communication on COVID-19 as well as working with UN Partners and NGOs on COVID-19 risk communication.


  • Co-facilitated risk communication workshop and dengue epidemic simulation exercise for Pan-American Health Organization’s Caribbean Vector-control Network, Port of Spain, Trinidad, April 2019 – with Philippe Boremanns
  • Co-produced and reported on high-level policy discussion on Vaccines, “Fake News” and the European Elections ( for Cambre Associates, Brussels, April 2019
  • Communication Consultant working for WHO Country Office Lao PDR ( – providing risk communication support and capacity building to Ministry of Health as well as corporate & programme communication to WHO Country Office, Vientiane, Lao PDR June 2019 – 1 January 2020


  • Development of advocacy strategy and materials to encourage investment in health emergency “core capacities” in 15 countries in WHO European Region. This project involved interviewing WHO Representatives and Technical Officers in these countries as well as liaising with Regional Office for Europe.
  • Co-facilitated risk communication workshop and pandemic simulation exercise for Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) at PAHO annual influenza meeting, Washington DC, November 2018
  • At WHO HQ working on projects for WHO Health Emergencies Programme, Geneva, June 2018
  • Spoke in panel session “Research Boundary Spanning: Understanding Crisis Communication Collaborations across Government, Academic, Non-profit, and International Organizations” at International Crisis and Risk Communication Conference 2018, Orlando, Florida, March 2018
  • Continued risk communication consultancy work for WHO Health Emergencies Programme, Geneva (January onwards)


  • Part of facilitation team for WHO/Africa Regional Workshop on Risk Communication during Health Emergencies, Cotonou, Benin, November (read news article )
  • Resource person / facilitator at inaugural pre-deployment training for newly created WHO Network for Social Science Interventions (SocialNet), October 2017
  • Co-facilitated (with Dr Ljubica Latinovic) a two day national workshop for St Lucia and the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) on risk communication during pandemics and other health emergencies. At the end of the workshop participants joined a half-day crisis simulation exercise to test St Lucia’s All Hazards Emergency Risk Communiction Guidelines. St Lucia, October 2017
  • Co-facilitated (with Dr Ljubica Latinovic) a two-day inter-active risk communication workshop for vector control officers from Eastern Caribbean countries. This focused in particular on response to / preparedness for Zika outbreaks. Grenada, July 2017


  • Risk Communication Expert on external team for WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMRO) Joint External Evaluations (JEE) of IHR capacity in Jordan (August 2016) and for Somali Republic (October 2016)
  • Project manager, co-facilitator (with John Rainford and Christine “Tiff” Cool) and rapporteur for the Joint ECDC and ASEF workshop How can we be better prepared for the next global health threat?: Planning and Implementing Emergency Risk Communication, Stockholm, Sweden, 2016. This interactive meeting included a crisis simulation exercise.
    Read the meeting report.
  • Underwent pre-deployment training with WHO’s Emergency Communication Network, Switzerland, April 2016


  • Part of start-up team for European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in 2005. Worked with Founding Director, Zsuzanna Jakab, to rapidly established high profile for this new EU Agency. Started up Public Communication and Media function, including development of Emergency Risk Communication plans and systems, while simultaneously managing ECDC’s communication response to “bird flu” emergency.
  • Member of several expert working groups for World Health Organization (WHO): notably the International Health Regulation Risk Communication Working Group 2008-2010 which reviewed evidence on best practice and produced operational definition of “risk communication”.
  • Responsible for coordination and strategy for ECDC relations with EU Parliament 2010-2015. Helped Director strengthen relationship with Parliament’s Health Committee to protect ECDC’s reputation and budget.

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