Risk know-how Framework

Risk know-how helps communities around the world to navigate information and assess risks in their own context.

The framework below has been developed through discussions and interactions with community risk practitioners and risk experts to facilitate those decisions.

1. Risk know-how in a community means we can:

Ask questions about specific risks

Find suitable and reliable risk information

Chandler Christoffel, User Experience Librarian, USA

I want to encourage information literacy – to interrogate assumptions about what is reliable. We start with sources from local, state or regional governments, then go to national governments and international agencies… after that we explore the grey literature. I also recommend tertiary information… statistics databases that provide and aggregate raw data.

Understand how the framing of the information can be manipulated

Chandler Christoffel, User Experience Librarian, USA

Interrogate some of their assumptions about what is reliable… point out different points of view, agendas and rhetorical strategies… and look at the sources they use.

Examine a claim about the size and importance of a risk or the value of a safety measure 

Not be surprised by the consequences of a risk taken 

Make reasonable comparisons between potential risks and between the costs of action and inaction – trade offs

Appreciate the danger of being drawn to information that confirms what we prefer

Be aware of how new information might require a decision change about the risks that are tolerated

Sarah Whitaker, Forest Kindergarten Director, USA

Sometimes you face the same conditions but make different decisions because of how young the group is, [and] how large the group is. What feels like the right decision one day might feel too risky a different day.

Be respectful of the fact that other people’s risk and benefit trade-offs are not the same and that not everyone has the opportunity to act upon risks

Sazedul Hoque, Researcher in Food Safety and Fisheries Technology, Bangladesh

Fishermen will go out to sea even with a cyclone or a storm approaching because the risk of not catching fish and being able to eat feels more present.

2. To do this we need to:

A. Clarify what is actually being discussed
B. Make sense of what is being said
C. Discuss concepts that affect the accuracy of risk information

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