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A closer look at risk perception and risk governance. Piet Sellke. Dialogik and University of Stuttgart ICPS 5th Annual Regulatory Affairs International Symposium March 11th, 2013. Outline. Part I: Introduction Part II: Risk Perception and Risk Assessment

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Piet Sellke


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    1. A closer look at risk perception and risk governance Piet Sellke Dialogik and University of Stuttgart ICPS 5th Annual Regulatory Affairs International Symposium March 11th, 2013

    2. Outline • Part I: Introduction • Part II: Risk Perception and Risk Assessment • Part III: Risk Governance: An Integrated Concept • Part IV: Conclusions

    3. Part I: Introduction

    4. Lack of Trust Framing Paralysis by Analysis Scope Deficits in Risk Governance Accountability Scarcity of data Inequity Transparency

    5. Policy Dilemma in Risk Management • Follow perceptions of the public? • Follow advice of professional experts?

    6. Challenge of Risk Governance  Integration of factual, technical knowledge and socio-cultural knowledge into one framework • Factual dimension • Physically measurable outcomes • Risk discussed as a combination of consequences and their probability of occurence • Socio-cultural dimension • How risks are viewed if values and emotions come into play

    7. Part II: Riskperceptionandriskassessment

    8. Risk perception (I/II) • Human behavior depends on perception, not on facts! • Qualitative Risk Characteristics: • Risk-related patterns • Perceived dread • Familiarity with the risk • Sensual perceptibility • Situation-related patterns • Personal controllability • Voluntariness • Trust in risk management • Fair distribution of gains and losses

    9. Risk perception (II/II) • Semantic risk patterns • Risks posing an immediate threat (large dams, nuclear energy) • Risks dealt with as a blow of fate (natural disasters) • Risk as challenge to one‘s own strenght (sports) • Risk as a gamble (lotteries, stock exchange) • Risks as an early indication of insidious danger (food additives, viruses) • Stigmatisation of Risk • Social amplification of Risk

    10. Challenges of Risk Assessment • Quality of explanatory power depends on the accuracy and validity of (real) predictions • Problems in validating risk assessment results • Prove of correctly assigned probabilities to a specific outcome difficult • Risks with difficult to discern cause-effect relationships • Risks with rare effects • Risks with effects difficult to interpret • Variations in both causes and effects obscuring the results

    11. Integration of Risk Assessment and Risk Perception • Option 1 (only science): • Only scientific concepts of risk can claim inter-subjective validity and applicability • (Erroneous) risk perceptions have to be corrected via communication and education • Option 2 (only people): • No overarching universally applicable quality criterion available in order to evaluate the appropriatness and validty of risk concepts • Scientific concepts should compete with concepts of stakeholders and public groups Loss of Public Support Loss of Scientific Expertise

    12. Integration of Risk Assessment and Risk Percpetion • Option 3 (science + people): • In identifying aspects of concern and worry, all groups of society have the same right to raise them and to bring them to the negotiation table • Question of the degree to which these concerns / worries are violated by the risk-bearing activity / events should be primarily answered by experts Integrated Approach

    13. Part II: Riskgovernance: An integratedconcept

    14. CONVENTIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT Deciding Understanding Who needs to know what, when? The knowledge needed for judgements and decisions Appraisal Management Communication Who needs to do what, when? Most risk management processes do not go beyond these steps

    15. IRGC’s RISK GOVERNANCE FRAMEWORK Risk assessment PLUS Concern assessment Getting a broad picture of the risk Deciding Understanding Pre-Assessment Who needs to do what, when? Communication Management Communication Appraisal Who needs to know what, when? Is the risk tolerable, acceptable or unacceptable? Characterisation and Evaluation Categorising the knowledge about the risk Is the risk simple, complex, uncertain or ambiguous?

    16. Phase 1 Getting a broad picture of the risk Pre-Assessment Management Communication Appraisal Characterisation and Evaluation

    17. Importance of Framing Looks like a high risk from the outside

    18. Importance of Framing But consider this…

    19. Importance of Framing Or this…

    20. NOVELTY AND PRECAUTION: THE IMPACT OF FRAMING ON THE RISK-HANDLING OF GMOs Comparing USA and Europe: Different framing Different regulatory approach

    21. IMPORTANCE OF FRAMING • Frames represent social and cultural perspectives • Challenge or problem • Opportunity or risk • Innovation or intervention • Frames determine boundaries of what is included and excluded • Time and duration (future generations, sustainability) • Location and space (the universe, all nation, Norway, Stavanger) • Social class and stratus (vulnerable groups, poor, immigrants) • Types of adverse effects (physical, mental, social, cultural) • Primary or secondary impacts (ripple effects) • Criteria taken into account (risk reduction, cost, benefit, equity, environmental justice, value violations…)

    22. Phase 2 Pre-Assessment Is the risk simple, complex, uncertain or ambiguous? Appraisal Management Communication Characterisation and Evaluation Categorising the knowledge about the risk

    23. Components of Risk Knowledge • Complexityin assessing causal and temporal relationships • Uncertainty • variation among individual targets • measurement and inferential errors • genuine stochastic relationships • system boundaries and ignorance • Ambiguity • Interpretative ambiguity (What does it mean?) • Normative ambiguity (Is it tolerable?)

    24. RISK APPRAISAL • Risk Assessment • Hazard identification and estimation • Exposure assessment • Risk estimation • Concern Assessment • Socio-economic impacts • Economic benefits • Public concerns (stakeholders and individuals)

    25. BRENT SPAR – UNDERESTIMATING STAKHOLDER CONCERN Greenpeace’s campaign included occupation of the platform but did not include calling for a consumer boycott. Nonetheless, Shell is estimated to have lost between £60-100 million, mostly from lost sales across northern Europe; petrol stations were fire-bombed in Germany.

    26. Phase 3 Pre-Assessment Management Communication Appraisal Is the risk tolerable, acceptable or unacceptable? Characterisation and Evaluation

    27. Characterization and Evaluation • What are the broader, value-based questions to consider? • Characterization: • What are the societal and economic benefits and risks? • Are there impacts on individual or social quality of life? • Are there ethical issues to consider? • Is there a possibility of substitution? • Evaluation: • What are possible options for risk compensation or reduction? • How can we assign trade-offs between different risk categories and between risks and benefits (or opportunities)? • What are the societal values and norms for making judgements about tolerability and acceptability? • Do any stakeholders have commitments or other reasons for desiring a particular outcome of the risk governance process?

    28. Evaluation and Characterisation The scientific evidence from the risk assessment is “simple” – civil aviation emits significant pollutants into the atmosphere. Grounding the fleet would stop those emissions. Modern values – particularly economic and societal – are such that no decision has been or is likely to be made to ban civil aviation. In this instance, the policy judgement is therefore to give greater weight to the values than the scientific evidence.

    29. Phase 4 Pre-Assessment Management Communication Appraisal Who needs to do what, when? Characterisation and Evaluation

    30. RISK CHARACTERISTICS AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR RISK MANAGEMENT (I/II)

    31. RISK CHARACTERISTICS AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS FOR RISK MANAGEMENT (II/II)

    32. Complementary Phase Who needs to know what, when? Pre-Assessment Communication Management Appraisal Characterisation and Evaluation

    33. Objectives of Risk- Communication • Enlightenment: Making people able to understand risks and benefits (and their interactions) • Behavioral changes: Making people aware of potential risks and benefits help them to make the right choices • Trust building: Assisting risk management agencies to generate and sustain trust • Conflict resolution: Assisting risk managers to involve major stakeholders and affected parties to take part in the risk-benefit evaluation

    34. Risk Communication – Essential throughout the process • Pre-assessment • Informing other agencies and assessing who is affected and who is mandated to take responsibility • Inviting views of affected stakeholders • Appraisal • Requesting and receiving appropriate scientific advice on the risk • Requesting and receiving scientific advice on people’s concerns • Evaluation • Communication of appraisal findings (if they are clear) • Involving all affected agencies and stakeholders if risk appraisal findings are uncertain or ambiguous • Deliberations concerning values / perspectives and to evaluate trade-offs • Management • Inclusion of appropriate stakeholders in the decision making process • Communication of the decision / regulation / advice

    35. STAKEHOLDER INVOLVEMENT Actors « Civil society » Affected stakeholders Affected stakeholders Scientists/ Researchers Scientists/ Researchers Scientists/ Researchers Agency Staff Agency Staff Agency Staff Agency Staff Instrumental Find the most cost-effective way to make the risk acceptable or tolerable Epistemic Use experts to find valid, reliable and relevant knowledge about the risk Reflective Involve all affected stakeholders to collectively decide best way forward Participative Include all actors so as to expose, accept, discuss and resolve differences Type of participation Simple Complexity Uncertainty Ambiguity Dominant risk characteristic

    36. PART V: Conclusions

    37. Part V: Conclusions CONCLUSIONS I • Problems in handling risks: • Plural values and knowledge claims • Expert dissent on risk and benefits • Transboundary nature of risks • Social amplification and attenuation via perception and social mobilization • Emergence of systemic risk that cross national and sectoral boundaries (ripple effects) • Need for integration of risk analysis and perception • Communication must be tailored to the risk class

    38. CONCLUSIONS II Four risk management regimes should be used to deal with these new risk challenges: • simple risk management: standard risk assessments • risk-informed management: expanded risk assessments; seeking expert consensus and epistemological clarification • precaution-/resilience-based management: negotiated safety level under uncertainty; seeking stakeholder consensus and relying on containment and resilience • discourse-based management: value-based orientation; seeking more public input and stakeholder involvement for interpretative variability and normative controversy

    39. Thank you! sellke@dialogik-expert.de

    40. RISK GOVERNANCE GOES MUCH FURTHER • Core Risk Governance Process • pre-assessment • risk appraisal-- risk assessment-- concern assessment • evaluation: tolerability / acceptability judgement • risk management • communication • Organisational Capacity • assets • skills • capabilities • Actor Network • politicians • regulators • industry/business • NGOs • media • public at large • Social Climate • trust in regulatory institutions • perceived authority of science • degree of civil society involvement • Political & Regulatory Culture • different regulatory styles

    41. Adequate structure of working groups? • Local structures, leading structure? • Who is initiating a process as this? • What partners does one need?

    42. New Challenge: Systemic Risks • Emergence of systemic risks that are... • transboundary • socially amplified via perception and social mobilisation • subject to expert dissent regarding risks and benefits • unmanageable by single organizations • difficult to communicate