Seeking community views on allocation of scarce resources in a pandemic in Australia: Two methods, two answers.
This chapter concerns public perceptions about who should have access to scarce antiviral drugs and vaccines in a flu pandemic. Two methods of public engagement are compared and evaluated; namely a survey, and a deliberative forum. In undertaking public engagement, researchers and policy makers may be motivated by the desire to build policy which is acceptable and workable in the community, that is instrumental goals are foremost. With instrumental goals in mind, there are a number of ways to collect community views but they may provide quite different answers as shown in the two examples described here. In the chapter we explore, the relationship between choice of method of engagement and (i) the findings of the engagement exercise, and (ii) the acceptability and applicability of these findings in a policy context.