Global prospects

OECD Studies in Risk Management


OECD Studies in Risk Management

Looking back on the disasters of recent years alone (the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster, Hurricane Katrina, terrorist attacks in New York, Madrid and London, avian flu, the 2003 heat wave in Europe), one could be forgiven for thinking that we live in an increasingly dangerous world. A variety of forces are helping to shape the risks that affect us, from demographic evolutions to climate change, through the development of mega-cities and the rise of information technology. These changes are clearly a major challenge for risk
management systems in OECD countries, which have occasionally proved unable to protect the life and welfare of citizens or the continuity of economic activity.

The OECD Futures Project on Risk Management Policies was launched in 2003 in order to assist OECD countries in identifying the challenges of managing risks in the 21st century, and help them reflect on how best to address those challenges. The focus is on the consistency of risk management policies and on their ability to deal with the challenges, present and future, created by systemic risks. The Project covers a range of risk management issues which were proposed by the participating countries and together form three thematic clusters: natural disasters, risks to critical infrastructures, and the protection of vulnerable population groups.

In the first phase of the Project, the OECD Secretariat prepared a case study for each issue. The studies cover both recent international developments of interest and the national policy context, and come with a tool for self-assessment to be used later in the Project in order to review the national policies in question.

This work is now published as the OECD Studies in Risk Management.