Developing Risk Management Policy
'Risk-based government' and 'risk-based decisions' are common aspirations for policy-makers.
This programme focuses on how to turn the outputs of risk science into policy decisions that will improve resilience against a wide range of future extreme threats.
The policy-maker is increasingly presented with a wide range of information, research outputs, quantitative analysis results, and varying levels of knowledge about different threats. These need to be assimilated into decisions on resource allocation, prioritisation, measures to reduce key vulnerabilities, and other action items.
This research programme looks at decision frameworks, issues and approaches to holistic risk assessment. It reviews how individuals perceive risk and take decisions. Of particular interest are risk reduction strategies that are robust against a wide range of potential outcomes in the future, and the uncertainties inherent in the information available.
Communication of risk concepts and the clarity of information conveyed is vital for decision-making. The role of information communication, dissemination to the general public, and alignment of multiple risk stakeholder decisions through information sharing is an important theme.
Key Research Areas
- Frameworks and tools for risk decision policy-making: threat analysis; systemic vulnerability assessment; deterministic scenario stress tests; probabilistic event trees
- Understanding and incorporating uncertainty in risk management decisions: robustness of strategies under deep uncertainty
- Sources of uncertainty in quantitative risk modelling, including the structure of models, paradigms adopted and choices made, relevance and completeness
The programme is coordinated with other activities and centres in the University, including:
- The Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP)
- The Winton Professorship for the Public Communication of Risk
- Cambridge Centre for Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) and the Mellon Sawyer Seminar Series on 'Modelling Futures: Understanding Risk and Uncertainty'