The risk management decision making process should be transparent and participatory. Wide-range participation improves the quality and diversity of information and opinions that inform the decision-making process, and significantly increase the likelihood that risk management decisions will be accepted and implemented by relevant parties. Early in the risk management process, it is important to identify those parties that may be interested in risk management decisions.
- Involve interested and affected parties early in the decision-making process.
- The degree of involvement should be appropriate to the size and impact of the decision.
- Engage representatives from all interested and affected parties to encourage a range of perspectives.
- Be clear about the extent that parties can be involved and the goals of involvement; identify any limitations.
- Give participants credit for their roles in decisions, and explain how their input was used. If suggestions were not used, explain why.
- Allow for inclusion of minority views or dissenting opinions, where appropriate.
- Recognize that broad participation is a learning process.
Resource Needs for Risk Assessment and Risk Management Teams
There are a number of different ways to involve interested and affected parties, ranging from the provision of information through one-way communication to partnerships and joint decision-making.
Members of the risk assessment and risk management teams must have the necessary resources, training, tools and information to allow them to interact effectively with interested and affected parties. They may require:
- time to prepare for consultations;
- conceptual tools for dealing with different parties and viewpoints; and
- training on various methods of communication, particularly communication of risk-related information.
There may be instances where incentives are required to interest a range of interested and affected parties to become involved in the process.