• Reporting on the seminar - risk interpretation and action (RIA): decision making under conditions of uncertainty

      Doyle, E.E.H.; Khan, S.; Adler, C.; Alaniz, R.C.; Athayde, S.; Lin, K-H.E.; Saunders, W.; Schenk, T.; Sosa-Rodriguez, F.; Sword-Daniels, V. (2014)
      The paper reports on the World Social Science (WSS) Fellows seminar on Risk Interpretation and Action (RIA), undertaken in New Zealand in December, 2013. This seminar was coordinated by the WSS Fellows program of the International Social Science Council (ISSC), the RIA working group of the Integrated Research on Disaster Risk (IRDR) program, the IRDR International Center of Excellence Taipei, the International START Secretariat and the Royal Society of New Zealand. Twenty-five early career researchers from around the world were selected to review the RIA framework under the theme of ‘decision-making under conditions of uncertainty’, and develop novel theoretical approaches to respond to and improve this framework. Six working groups emerged during the seminar: 1. the assessment of water-related risks in megacities; 2. rethinking risk communication; 3. the embodiment of uncertainty; 4. communication in resettlement and reconstruction phases; 5. the integration of indigenous knowledge in disaster risk reduction; and 6. multi-scale policy implementation for natural hazard risk reduction. This article documents the seminar and initial outcomes from the six groups organized; and concludes with the collective views of the participants on the RIA framework
    • Rethinking communication in risk interpretation and action

      Khan, S.; Mishra, Jyoti L.; Kuna-hui, E.L.; Doyle, E.E.H. (2017)
      Communication is fundamental to the transfer of information between individuals, agencies and organizations, and therefore, it is crucial to planning and decision-making particularly in cases of uncertainty and risk. This paper brings forth some critical aspects of communication that need to be acknowledged and considered while managing risks. Most of the previous studies and theories on natural hazards and disaster management have limited perspective on communication, and hence, its implication is limited to awareness, warnings and emergency response to some selected events. This paper exposes the role of communication as a moderator of not just risk interpretation and action but also various factors responsible for shaping overall response, such as individual decision-making under uncertainty, heuristics, past experiences, learning, trust, complexity, scale and the social context. It suggests that communication is a process that influences decision-making in multiple ways, and therefore, it plays a critical role in shaping local responses to various risks. It opens up the scope for using communication beyond its current use as a tool to manage emergency situations. An in-depth understanding of ongoing communication and its implications can help to plan risk management more effectively over time rather than as a short-term response.