ENGAGING STAKEHOLDERS WITH UNCERTAINTY
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ENGAGING STAKEHOLDERS WITH UNCERTAINTY . Hazel Faulkner & Simon McCarthy. ?. FHRC research for FRMRC1/2 INTERVIEWS with Environment Agency professionals Insurers Floodplain planners How can FRM optimise risk and uncertainty communications at the professional interface?

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ENGAGING STAKEHOLDERS WITH UNCERTAINTY

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Engaging stakeholders with uncertainty

ENGAGING STAKEHOLDERS WITH UNCERTAINTY

Hazel Faulkner & Simon McCarthy

?


Engaging stakeholders with uncertainty

  • FHRC research for FRMRC1/2

  • INTERVIEWS with

    • Environment Agency professionals

    • Insurers

    • Floodplain planners

  • How can FRM optimise risk and uncertainty communications at the professional interface?

  • Why the reluctance to use uncertainty tools

  • ....barriers?


  • Engaging stakeholders with uncertainty

    stakeholders at sources of information

    ‘science’

    Information receptors, category I

    BARRIERS?

    MANY SCIENTIFIC ,PROFESSIONAL AND LAY STAKEHOLDERS

    As webs of influence vary,

    agendas vary, information needs vary,

    risk communication strategies & appropriate tools will be totally different

    Stakeholders in information

    pathways

    professionals

    Information receptors, Category II

    floodplain stakeholders

    stakeholders outside floodplain


    Engaging stakeholders with uncertainty

    BARRIERS?

    SCIENTIFIC AND DECISION MAKERS DIFFER IN THEIR UNDERSTANDING OF THE SOURCES OF UNCERTAINTY

    SCIENTIFIC UNCERTAINTY

    Uncertainty in the science of flood forecasting and runoff prediction models are largely associated with their assumptions, structure, and boundary conditions, and confidence in validation procedures given uncertainties about climatic and societal futures

    PROFESSIONALS experience BINARY DECISION UNCERTAINTY (Decision rule uncertainty)

    • The implication of this is that scientific uncertainty is an relatively unwelcome part of the risk message they are charged with translating for the public


    Engaging stakeholders with uncertainty

    BARRIERS?

    THE LANGUAGE OF SCIENCE IS OPAQUE TO THE

    NON-SCIENTIFIC PROFESSIONAL

    • If originally formulated in Bayesian terms, the language may be too opaque for translation to be effective – do professionals have sufficient statistical familiarity?

    • Bayesian statistics ?

    • Prior probability distributions?

    • fuzzy set methods ?

    • info-gap methods ?

    • NUSAP?

    • match tool to communication interface

    • The implication of this is that the language used to communicate the uncertainty must match the needs and agenda of the agencies involved in the communication being undertaken


    Engaging stakeholders with uncertainty

    Bayesian

    uncertainty tools –

    GLUE

    Phone warnings

    Newspaper/TV

    /twitter

    stakeholder consultation ’traffic lights’

    webpages/leaflets

    stakeholders at sources of information

    ‘science’

    Information receptors, category I

    THE WAY FORWARD: TRANSLATIONAL DISCOURSES?

    LANGUAGE AND TOOLS TO DESCRIBE UNCERTAINTY VARY

    Rt = H x V

    1;100/1;1000 fuzzy edged

    Stakeholders in information

    pathways

    professionals

    Information receptors, Category II

    floodplain stakeholders

    stakeholders outside floodplain


    Engaging stakeholders with uncertainty

    FINDINGS

    • Our research (Faulkner et al 2007;McCarthy et al. 2009), both the interviews undertaken with professionals and from the ‘experiment’ undertaken at the co-location workshop in Exeter, found that :

    • The power of VISUALISATIONS AND ANIMATIONS in realising the uncertainty estimates was potentially great;

    • The professionals questioned initially struggled to comprehend scientifically defined flood forecast uncertainties (probabilistic and/or ensemble forecasts) without FURTHER TRANSLATION OF THE SCIENCE. When this was available as perhaps a ‘translational discourse’, the preparedness to embrace a more sophisticated expression of the model’s uncertainties was welcomed.

    • Better DECISION-SUPPORT TOOLS are needed.

    FINDINGS


    Engaging stakeholders with uncertainty

    The WIKI Decision-support tool

    Decision Tree and Wiki Pages at http://www.floodrisknet.org.uk/methods/


    Engaging stakeholders with uncertainty

    A ‘TRANSLATIONAL DISCOURSE’

    BRAINSTORMING

    Brainstorming sessions involving professionals/scientists and practitioners

    A GUIDANCE MANUAL

    how to involve all stakeholders, especially professionals at local level is needed – professional input here important;

    MORE DECISION SUPPORT TOOLS NEEDED......


    Acknowledgement

    Acknowledgement

    The research reported in this presentation was conducted as part of the Flood Risk Management Research Consortium with support from the:

    • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

    • Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs/Environment Agency Joint Research Programme

    • United Kingdom Water Industry Research

    • Office of Public Works Dublin

    • Northern Ireland Rivers Agency

      Data were provided by the EA and the Ordnance Survey.


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