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Risk and Hazard

Different Perspectives of Risk Communication Actors

Brief description

The main purpose of risk communication is an interactive exchange of information and attitudes on hazards and risks between the different actors participating in the communication process. Often, misunderstandings and communication problems between the different actors emerge, which can be attributed to a variety of causes. Particularly, different contexts of use of the terms “risk” and “hazard” can represent a source of such communication problems. In view of these problems, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung, BfR) has commissioned a project entitled “Communication of risk and hazard”. The aim of the project is to highlight such possible communication problems and to develop a set of recommendations for improvement.

By means of focus group discussions and semi-standardised interviews with representatives of NGOs, associations and public authorities, different patterns of argumentation and contexts in which they are used will be analysed. The main objective is to develop recommendations for possible organisational measures of public authorities. These measures will be discussed and assessed under aspects of feasibility. Criteria that will be applied include, for example, resources, organisational and co-ordination efforts, direct and indirect effects and conditions given by the timeframe. On 10th of May 2007, DIALOGIK and IÖW have presented the results of the research project „Risk and Hazard“ during a Colloquium. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, contracting authority of this project, was the host in Berlin on their premises in Berlin-Dahlem.

Project partners

  • Institut für ökologische Wirtschaftsforschung IÖW non-profit GmbH, Büro Heidelberg
  • Dirk Scheer (Project leader)
  • Stefan Gold