Trends in Risk Communication Policies and Practices

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Good risk communication is crucial for raising awareness among citizens and business about the risks their countries face. However, many countries have seen their risk communication tools fail in the past, leading to persistently low levels of risk awareness, especially in the absence of recent disasters. This OECD report surveys current trends in risk communication policies and practices across OECD and partner countries. It seeks to understand why risk communication tools have failed and what OECD countries can do to improve the effectiveness of their risk communication policies. Based on an OECD-wide survey, the report evaluates the degree to which countries have used  risk communication tools to not only increase risk awareness, but to inform stakeholders about potential preparedness and prevention measures they can take to boost their resilience to future risks.



Governments have a key responsibility in communicating to citizens about the risks that confront them. Citizens expect to be notified about known perils and impending threats. They also expect governments to provide guidance on what protective actions to take. Raising awareness about the risks of high-impact, low-probability events represents a particular challenge; these events happen just rarely enough that most citizens forget about them, or think that they only happen to other people.


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