11. CONCERN ASSESSMENT TOOL

WHAT IS IT?

l     The tool to understand people’s concerns to consider them in policy development and in development of related consultation arrangements and communication strategies.

 

l     It is based around six risk characteristics that research suggests are indicators of public concern. They are

 

         Nature of Hazard

         Familiarity and Experience

         Understanding

 

         Risk Consequences

         Fear or Dread

         Equity and Benefits

 

         Risk Management

         Control

         Trust

 

HOW DOES IT WORK?

l     Each characteristic to be scored on five point scale by reviewing relevant evidence obtained from interviews, focus groups, review of media material etc

 

l     For example, two elements to score the first indicators (Familiarity and Experience).

 

         How familiar are people with the hazard?

 

         Are all sections of society familiar, or is familiarity confined to specific groups?

         Are those exposed to risk familiar with it?

 

         What is the extent of their experience?

         These prompts give an indication of the range of issues that should be explored to collect enough relevant evidence to come to a decision on the extent of concern, and not as literal questions to be asked (e.g. as a questionnaire)

         They are indicative not prescriptive or exhaustive lists.

         A summary of evidence should be entered in the scoring table.

         All evidence to be scored on five-point scale

         Level 1 – Lowest level of concern

         Level 5 – Highest level of concern

         The specific score is taken as indicative, rather than as determinant of a particular action and may be useful in identifying those risks requiring further consideration for action.

         It provides useful information for further evaluation.

         The framework doesn’t attempt to integrate or aggregate scores from the six indicators into an estimate of ‘total concern’ because the categories are not wholly independent of each other.

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