195420 A Value-Centered Framework Spotlights Campaign Orientations and Ethical Dilemmas: The Spruce Creek Watershed Campaign Case Study

Monday, November 9, 2009

Suellen Hopfer, PhD , Communication Arts and Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
This case study of a 2-year community watershed awareness campaign examines the implicit social values underlying the campaign's goals, strategies and solutions. An ethical lens toward evaluation of the Spruce Creek Watershed campaign makes explicit how conceptualizing community water issues by their recreational, economic, or cultural value has implications for how solutions are developed and for how community members as target audience will respond. When science frames community watershed solutions this conflicts at times with the cultural meanings attributed to water by local community members and consequently, impacts whether key community stakeholders participate in community watershed solutions. At the policy level, watershed stewardship marks a shift in campaign communication. Responsibility for detecting water problems rests with communities rather than the federal government. Communities are given autonomy to decide what the local issues are and tailor solutions. However, rhetoric of community autonomy also functions to leverage limited state resources (principle of utility). Programs that are marketed by state policy as promoting community empowerment yet which provide few resources to communities are less likely to succeed in the long run. A value-centered framework that makes explicit underlying justifications orienting a community watershed stewardship awareness campaign distinguishes public health education programs in important ways. Consideration of ethical issues will increasingly become an essential component in the development and application of designing public health goals and strategies around watershed stewardship. How implicit justifications shape campaign goals and strategies, and how competing social values raise ethical dilemmas at individual, community and policy levels are discussed.

Learning Objectives:
List 3 ethical principles implicit in the Spruce Creek Watershed Awareness Campaign that influenced campaign goals and strategies Articulate the 3 ways in which the value of water was defined in this case study Discuss 2 labeling dilemmas that resulted from the way water issues were framed in this case study

Keywords: Water, Community Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have extensively researched watershed related issues and their link with health. I have a PhD in health communication and a medical background in genetics, and have worked with a community on watershed awareness issues.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

See more of: Ethics SPIG Poster Session
See more of: Ethics SPIG