This report surveys current trends in risk communication policies and practices across OECD and partner countries. It seeks to understand why risk communication tools have failed and what countries can do to improve the effectiveness of their risk communication policies. The report evaluates the degree to which countries have used risk communication tools to not only increase risk awareness but to inform stakeholders about potential preparedness and prevention measures they can take to boost their resilience to future risks.
This report includes the following policy recommendations:
- Governments’ risk communication needs to become more inclusive, involving citizens and other stakeholders actively in a two-way communication process and building partnerships with the private sector.
- Risk communication should be grounded in up-to-date scientific evidence to ensure quality and accuracy. This can also help promote new risk communication tools for a more comprehensive and, ultimately, effective, risk communication.
- Countries need to exploit new technology, including social media. Risk communication is characterised by uncertainty, by rapid changes and developments; it thus requires flexible communication tools and channels. Two-way communication via interactive media also allows citizens to provide feedback that can help improve future risk communication policies and practices.
- Countries need to focus more on prevention, informing stakeholders about what they can do to help reduce their risk exposure. Countries also need to communicate about actions individual stakeholders can take to reduce their risk exposure.
OECD. 2016. Trends in Risk Communication Policies and Practices, OECD Publishing, Paris. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264260467-en