Improving Risk Communication in Government: Research Priorities

Chess et al. (1995) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

risk communication

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

North America - USA

Why was it conducted at all?

Despite the increased interest in risk communication among government agencies, there is evidence that agencies' risk communication practices lag. The risk communication field is diverse. Agency practitioners of environmental risk communication are found at all levels of government and in a variety of different settings. Researchers conducting studies related to risk communication represent a range of disciplines (e.g., sociology, geography, psychology, communication, economics). Although there has been no attempt to define the boundaries of the field nor to develop a comprehensive professional listing of those involved, we were committed to developing a methodology that would identify research priorities based on a range of perspectives in the field.

What was the objective?

to explore which risk communication research would be most important to improve government agencies' risk communication practices

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 14 research topics

How long did the research prioritization take?

No information provided.

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?

interview; survey

How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: interviews: to gather participants' perspectives on agency risk communication problems and successes, research topics critical to improving agency practice, and suggestions for names of other risk communication practitioners and researchers whose perspectives would be important to include in the study. Step 2: data analysis: resulting in list of 48 research topics. Step 3: survey: participants were asked to rate each research topic

Which stakeholders took part?

145 risk communication experts based in academic institutions and government agencies. Interview participants: 12 agency practitioners and 12 academic researchers. Survey: 120 participants: 54 researchers and 66 practitioners

How were stakeholders recruited?

Survey: The questionnaire was sent to the original group of 24 experts as well as the snowball sample of academics and practitioners that they recommended. In all, 145 questionnaires were distributed to 65 risk communication researchers and 80 risk communication practitioners.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders were mere participants of the research prioritization process; they were not actively involved in the process.