Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Discuss Transparency and accountability as critical aspects in managing public health and pandemics.

Topic:  accountability and ethical governance; strengthening of ethical and moral values in governance; ethical issues in international relations and funding; corporate governance.

7. Discuss Transparency and accountability as critical aspects in managing public health and pandemics. (250 words)

Reference: NCBI

Why this question:

The question is amidst rising incidence of public health outbreaks and pandemics.

Key demand of the question:

Explain the role played by Transparency and accountability in managing public health and pandemics.


Discuss – This is an all-encompassing directive – you have to debate on paper by going through the details of the issues concerned by examining each one of them. You have to give reasons for both for and against arguments.

Structure of the answer:


Briefly explain that effective management of public health emergencies demands open and transparent public communication. The rationale for transparency has public health, strategic and ethical dimensions. Despite this, government authorities often fail to demonstrate transparency.


Define transparency and accountability first.

Explain why they become important in public health management systems and disease outbreaks.

One can present the case of COVID-19 or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) crisis of 2003 and highlight the importance.

Explain that Information should be communicated in a transparent, accurate and timely manner.

Discuss the concerns( what if the system is not transparent and accountable) –

  • reluctance to announce a potential health threat and inform an at-risk population of appropriate precautionary measures until all information is scientifically confirmed and formally endorsed;
  • a tendency to withhold information that is potentially damaging to an economic sector – often against the recommendations of public health experts;
  • An emphasis on strict information control within organizations, making constructive engagement of potential partners in coordinated public communication difficult.


Conclude by reasserting significance of it.