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Internationally recognised principles for good public engagement in risk management

International trends in risk management and risk communication place increasing emphasis on providing adequate opportunities for public deliberation. This is a move away from the historic view of risk analysis as solely an expert driven process. It is in response to changed understanding about the importance of building knowledge about natural hazard impacts with input from those directly affected; and recognition that decisions about risk management strategies and land use planning ultimately involve value judgements about the costs and benefits of different margins of safety.

Important drivers of the move toward participatory risk management [Caphaznet] have been the prevalence of conflicts between land use policies and hazard mitigation agendas, and an increased focus on sustainability and community resilience as a best long term approach to hazard management.

Internationally recognised principles for good public engagement in risk management include:

  • Enables dialogue between actors with different forms of knowledge and interests – i.e. combines technical and on-the-ground knowledge
  • Involves stakeholders and people at-risk in the pre-assessment of risk and in the planning and decision-making on structural and non-structural measures through two-way communication.
  • Goes beyond hazard prevention and integrates it with wider issues of sustainable community development.
  • Informs the general public about decisions and measures.
  • Targets the affected area (e.g. catchment area, river basin) and the whole of affected municipalities.
  • Provides continuity in that it supports lasting communication

For further information caphaz-net.org/