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ISCRAM 2013: Towards Increased Resilience: The Contributions of IT for Crisis Preparedness and Risk Communication
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ISCRAM 2013: Towards Increased Resilience: The Contributions of IT for Crisis Preparedness and Risk Communication

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Author: Ortwin Renn

Author: Ortwin Renn
University of Stuttgart

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  • This slide proposes the overarching scheme.a5-step protocol…Ortwin, we need to decide at which level this protocole has to be placed:The organisation identifies an ER: it needs to characterise it, to develop scenarios of its possible evoluation, to evaluate to tolerance to it, etcUpstream, the organisation has not yet identified anything special (or it has but this is not yet the purpose), but it needs to organise to be able to identify potential threats
  • Your concept of an emerging risk is not consistent with the definition of risk in ISO 31000.   Risk is risk.  Risk comes about when a decision or action is taken based on deficient information in support of objectives.  Risk is not:·      An event;·      A consequence;·      A likelihood;·      A vulnerability;·      An exposure;·      A hazard, a threat or an opportunity;·      A metric. Therefore it cannot be said that risk occurs or 'emerges'.  If you need to talk about something that 'emerges' it should be a risk source.  This is defined as an "element which alone or in combination has the intrinsic potential to give rise to risk". I hope that you will be able to make the necessary amendments to your advertising materials and bear this important point in mind when you hold your workshop. Best regards, Grant Grant Purdy Associate DirectorBROADLEAF CAPITAL INTERNATIONAL PTY LTDSpecialists in strategic, enterprise and project risk managementPO Box 1098North Mitcham, VIC 3132 AustraliaTel         +61 3 9893 0011Mobile    +61 412 121 631Skype     +61 3 9018 5782Email      Purdy@Broadleaf.com.au
  • Risk management is possible when several options are considered, assessed and then one or several are chosen as a strategy. For example, a precautionary approach is no more than one of several options for managing a possible risk on which the level of knowledge is inadequate; there can be other risk management option which can have the same outcome (cf J Wiener on … comparing the use of precaution in the US and the EU)Need to avoid binary options (yes or no) (MM). What lies in-between yes and no need to be exploredWhat can we doThese generic strategies can be used to generate more concrete options. The debate upstream will be enhanced if we indicate a strong presumption on favour of more options.1) Influence the contributing factors (to try to take away the causes), that is: act on the factors of risk. This is mainly for when an emerging risk is not yet identified but there is a suspicion that the context could be favourable to its emergence – because CF can also amplify and attenuate identified emerging risks, acting on the CF should be a continuous priority.This includes a pro-active communication strategy (MW).2) Change the risk tolerance level (raise it); that is act on the risk absorbing system, increase robustness3) Improve the resilience of the system; that is be prepared for shocks or unexpected surprises.4) Invest in air-tight monitoring, that is: do more monitoring, seek more signals from early-warning systems (especially when one does not know what to do). One aim is to screen for false-positive and false-negatives. 
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  • This would be Sweta’s part of the presentation
  • This would be Sweta’s part of the presentation
  • This would be Sweta’s part of the presentation

ISCRAM 2013: Towards Increased Resilience: The Contributions of IT for Crisis Preparedness and Risk Communication ISCRAM 2013: Towards Increased Resilience: The Contributions of IT for Crisis Preparedness and Risk Communication Presentation Transcript

  • World Congress on Risk International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) 1|Sydney, July 18-20, 2012 Towards Increased Resilience: The Contributions of IT for Crisis Preparedness and Risk Communication Ortwin Renn University of Stuttgart ISCRAM 2013 Baden-Baden Chemin de Balexert 9, CH – 1219 Châtelaine, Geneva, Switzerland | tel +41 (0)22 795 17 30 fax +41 (0)22 795 17 39 | www.irgc.org
  • World Congress on Risk International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) 2|Sydney, July 18-20, 2012 Need for Prevention and Anticipation 1. Definition of Crisis: A situation of immediate threat to crucial functions of relevant systems that serve critical human needs and wants based on the release of energy, substance or information 2. First Priority: Anticipating emerging crisis with the goal of prevention 3. Second Priority: Developing a system of emergency preparedness that reduces the impact of crisis 4. Third priority: Assuring recovery after the crisis has occurred
  • World Congress on Risk International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) 3|Sydney, July 18-20, 2012 IRGC’s RISK GOVERNANCE FRAMEWORK
  • World Congress on Risk International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) 4|Sydney, July 18-20, 2012 A Protocol for Anticipating and Preventing Crises Option assessment and evaluation Describing the context identification& characterisation Scenario development Risk tolerance/ preference/ attitude Option creation Implementing and monitoring - Amplification - Attenuation Communication Conventional Risk governance I II III IV V
  • World Congress on Risk International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) 5|Sydney, July 18-20, 2012 II Scenario Development-1 The organisation needs to develop narratives about the possible threats and their interactions with other systems to which they are connected Scenarios should include best and worst case but also a backcasting approach of defining a desirable crisis response and determining the steps to reach such an outcome Scenarios should be accompanied by a thorough sensitivity analysis Organization should simulate responses to each of the scenarios in order to be prepared. Simulation tools such a agent-based models are key to anticipating “realistic” crisis situations
  • World Congress on Risk International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) 6|Sydney, July 18-20, 2012 II Scenario Development-2 Other Methods for “anticipating” pending crises: –Signal observation (early warning by indicators) –Dynamic monitoring –Modelling –Technological foresight –Horizon scanning –Using “Swarm Intelligence”: Crisis-Pedia  .
  • World Congress on Risk International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) 7|Sydney, July 18-20, 2012 III Strategic Risk Handling Scenarios give rise to multiple intervention points in a normally escalating development of potential threats (time-dependent) Decision makers need to agree in advance at which point in the timeline of potential crisis events an intervention is crucial and which level of escalation is still tolerable This exercise needs to be performed for each scenario A close monitoring system is necessary to understand which scenario is likely to occur and when intervention points are likely to pop up
  • World Congress on Risk International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) 8|Sydney, July 18-20, 2012 IV Option Creation / Design I There exist 4 broad strategies: 1. Influence the contributing factors • Place special emphasis on interactions of contributing factors. 2. Change the risk tolerance level (raise it); • focus on the risk absorbing system; increase robustness 3. Improve the resilience of the system; • that is be prepared for shocks or unexpected surprises. 4. Do more monitoring, seek more signals from early- warning systems. that is to be on alert the further you move on the timeline + Pro-active communication strategy
  • World Congress on Risk International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) 9|Sydney, July 18-20, 2012 IV Option Creation/Design II If different scenarios are played out and there is no clear indication which one is going to occur, the IRGC framework suggests a management strategy based on resilience. This implies: –Being prepared for the worst scenario to occur –Investing in reducing vulnerabilities –Trying to contain risk in space and time –Be prepared to intervene instantaneously if things turn out to be worse than expected
  • World Congress on Risk International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) 10|Sydney, July 18-20, 2012 V Option Assessment and Evaluation I It is necessary to have a set of options ready for each intervention point on each scenario Types of intervention will be tested against: –Effectiveness –Efficiency –Sustainability (economic, ecological, social) –Socio-political acceptability (for example equity) –Ethical standards (corporate responsibility) Computer-Aided decision tools are helpful in conducting this multi-criteria evaluation
  • World Congress on Risk International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) 11|Sydney, July 18-20, 2012 V Option Assessment and Evaluation /II Elements for how to evaluate the options (which leads to prioritising and determining a strategy for managing the emerging crsis) include: –analyse the distribution of risks and benefits: when they align well, risks are easier to manage and to communicate –identify a “risk owner”, who will be responsible for managing it. –work on the specific case of “moral hazard”, when no one owns the risk (often the case with emerging risk to the environment, but also as we have seen in the financial systems or in public health, e.g. with pandemics)
  • World Congress on Risk International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) 12|Sydney, July 18-20, 2012 Communication In the early phases of risk governance, internal communication is crucial (early warning system must be well established in organisational hierarchy) For developing scenarios, identifying intervention opportunities and designing intervention options, the inclusion of external experts and stakeholders is crucial for success In the late phases of risk governance external communication is central to reputation management and external support (internet is key to dissemination)
  • World Congress on Risk International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) 13|Sydney, July 18-20, 2012 Institutional Requirements Preparing for emerging crises requires special organisational structures and procedures: –Organisations need departments or units that perform early warning functions and have direct access to key decision makers within the organisation. –Staff in these departments need to be trained to produce scenarios and intervention points in a coherent and convincing manner. –It is advisable to use computer simulation methods to illustrate these scenarios and make them more plausible to those who need to prepare interventions. –For developing scenarios and identifying options for each intervention point, staff members should be trained to use the appropriate communication tools, –Once a risk is identified, there needs to be a department or unit that deals with the external communication to the media and the public.
  • World Congress on Risk International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) 14|Sydney, July 18-20, 2012 Conclusions 1. The possibility of crises and disaster are part of technological change, and requires anticipatory preventive actions, not just emergency preparedness 2. Coping with emerging crises requires a more dynamic governance model that provides a timeline for various scenarios of risks and opportunities 3. Prudent management includes the identification of potential intervention points and pre-set tolerance levels for justifying interventions or non-action 4. Assessment of opportunities and risks have to be updated constantly (adaptive management and continuous monitoring) 5. Depending on the phase in the timeline different communication targets need to be addressed 6. Much of what is needed is common sense yet, without institutional and organizational structures and procedures in place, routines will be dominating the process and ignorance is likely to win over vigilance
  • World Congress on Risk International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) 15|Sydney, July 18-20, 2012 Additions 1. EXTRA Slides
  • World Congress on Risk International Risk Governance Council (IRGC) 16|Sydney, July 18-20, 2012 Communication II Communicating emerging risks faces specific challenges that go beyond traditional risk communication problems: –Disbelief in the existence of a threat (discarded as undue pessimism) –Blame-the-messenger attitude when potential risks are reported to decision makers –Messages about risks are likely to get little attention when organization is performing with great success –Language barriers (decision makers not familiar with multiple scenarios and simulations) –Dominance of a “wait and see” attitude if decision makers are faced with multiple uncertainties –Decision makers have often little sensitivity to amplification processes when crucial intervention points have been missed