Risk Assessment results feed directly into the Risk Management phase. Risk Assessments evaluate the probability and magnitude of contaminant-related effects, while Risk Management is a process used to:
- Decide whether a level of risk is acceptable in a larger context (socially, economically and politically); and/or,
- Select risk reduction options (i.e., either technical or policy-based solutions), and assess cost-benefit of the options.
Characteristics of Effective Risk Management Strategies
Experience from industrialized countries show that certain characteristics are likely to promote an effective and successful risk management decision-making process:
Current: Risk reduction strategies need to remain up to date with evolving national policies and priorities, new scientific findings or technological developments, and they need to take into account the effectiveness of existing strategies.
Participatory: Numerous stakeholders play a role in the development of an effective Risk Management strategy. Consequently, effective risk communication and dialogue must be apparent in all Risk Management activities.
Informed: Risk management decision-making requires various types of information such as statistical data, probability studies, information about local customs and practices, knowledge about the nature of past and present exposure, economic analyses, information about regulatory and other control options, etc.
Contextual: Risk reduction strategies should be adapted to the political, cultural and socio-economic context as well as local realities.