Why is Risk Communication needed?

Risk communication should not be seen as an attempt to convince people

(OECD, 2002)

Risk Communication is an important tool for disseminating information and understanding about a risk management decision.  This understanding and information should allow stakeholders to make an informed conclusion about how the decision will impact their interests and values.

Risk communication is useful in the following situations:

  • explaining the chance of a risk impact (probability) and the predictability of the risk impact (stochastic);
  • outlining the difference between risk (dependent on scenarios) and hazard (found within a specific area);
  • dealing with fears and uncertainties around POPs related illnesses;
  • dealing with any long-term effects from the risk and risk management;
  • improving the overall understanding of risk based terminology and concepts;
  • delivering an understanding of how risk management decisions will impact lifestyles;
  • creating a venue where uncertainties can be addressed and questions answered;
  • improving the transparency and credibility of those implementing the risk management;
  • dealing with conflicting interests and cultures of the various interested and affected parties;




Adapted from OECD Guidance Document on Risk Communication for Chemical Risk Management

The ultimate goal of Risk Communication is to assist stakeholders in understanding the rationale behind a risk-based decision
Source: Mathieu Duchatel
Hatfield Consultants The World Bank funded by the Canadian POPs Trust Fund through the      
Canadian International Development Agency
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