Risk Communication and Policy Making

Risk communication should be designed to inform policy makers about public attitudes towards risk by:

  • giving policy makers a more detailed contextual understanding of how risks and risk governance impact the public in everyday life
  • developing risk approaches that lead and structure policy processes, as opposed to conforming to pre-existing practice
  • informing the ways in which policy-makers understand and apply expert knowledge
  • building capacity in accessing, mediating between, and applying a wider range of expertise and knowledge in the policy process
  • recommending engagement practices that encourage the public and stakeholders to inform policy, thereby conferring legitimacy on governance processes
  • translating best-practices in risk governance into advice to decision-makers

The task for policy makers is to be open-minded when dealing with the public and to develop the skills and aptitudes that will allow them to tap into these various types of knowledge and make best-use of what they offer.

Hatfield Consultants The World Bank funded by the Canadian POPs Trust Fund through the      
Canadian International Development Agency
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