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Supporting Informed Choices

As nuclear programmes are established, the principles guiding the type of information, frequency and outcomes of communications activities needs to be defined. A strong communication programme establishes criteria for communication with stakeholders.

The public’s role in shaping nuclear policy varies from country to country. In some countries, citizen participation is required in the formation of public policy. In others, citizen input can be indirect but nonetheless influential. Regardless of political norms, communication plays an essential role in determining the range of choices stakeholders may need to make.

In the IAEA Milestones Approach, transparency and openness represent important criteria. Other norms include:

  • The degree to which audiences define content for themselves (responsiveness)
  • Who controls the pace and detail of information (accountability)
  • How broadly information is distributed (inclusiveness)
  • What language and jargon is used (appropriateness)

Communication criteria help define what content is prepared for outreach activities and the ways information is delivered. This approach is often demonstrated in successful projects. Criteria can be set independently, by rule of law, by project leaders or through collaboration with interested parties. In whatever manner they are set, criteria for communication helps all stakeholders share a common understanding of what might be considered an open, transparent or inclusive programme.

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