Risk governance

Governing Effective Prevention and Mitigation of Disruptive Shocks


Expert Meeting on Risk Prevention and Mitigation

Paris, 12-13 September 2013


Background ‌

Ex-ante investments in risk prevention and mitigation may yield high returns to reduce negative impacts of major disruptive events. However a number of sources suggest that much more is spent on ex-post disaster relief. While citizens, businesses and local government officials may be aware of risks, especially raised through past disruptive events, there are persisting disincentives for investing more effectively in risk prevention and mitigation measures. This is even more difficult in the current fiscal context, where many countries are struggling with fiscal consolidation measures, yet at the same time are facing severe constraints in facing the future fiscal costs of disruptive shocks.

Market failures, collective action problems, but also government failures may, to different extents across countries, be part of the reasons for why actors responsible for managing risks fail to contribute to reducing a society’s overall level of risk exposure. To overcome some of these failures and facilitate the necessary adjustment and investment, it is key to understand how the political and the economic systems influence the actors’ underlying incentive structures. Major disruptive events often help to overcome incentive distortions created by existing governance mechanisms. They therefore offer a good stepping stone to understand the critical success factors to promote and implement recent disaster risk reduction reforms across countries.

Meeting objectives

This workshop was organised under the auspices of the OECD High Level Risk Forum. It is part of the forum’s on-going activity on “A Boost to Resilience: Overcoming the Political and Economic Obstacles in Managing Disruptive Shocks”, a project investigating the risk prevention and mitigation landscape across OECD countries. The objective of the expert meeting was to bring together senior technical directors from government, private sector, and applied research working in the field of risk prevention and mitigation across OECD countries to: (i) better understand current risk prevention and mitigation practices in their country and international contexts; (ii) distil good practices and existing challenges when it comes to (iii) mobilising risk prevention and mitigation actors to carry out their assigned roles, and (iv) facilitate exchange and contribute to the discussion on how governments can make reform for enhanced risk prevention and mitigation happen. The later will contribute to the wider objective of the OECD’s risk prevention and mitigation activity whose draft report will be presented at the OECD High Level Risk Forum in December 2013.

Overview of presentations

Introductory session: View presentations here

  • Overview of the OECD Risk Prevention and Mitigation Activities and Objectives of the Expert Meeting (Catherine Gamper, OECD)
  • Kick-off presentation: Why Prevention Pays (Leonardo Alfonso, UNESCO-IHE)

Session 1: Risk prevention and mitigation in times of fiscal constraints - what role for governments? View presentations here

  • Risk Prevention and Mitigation - at what costs? To what extent? (Walter Ammann, Global Risk Forum GRF Davos)
  • Governing Disasters: Challenges, Limitations, Lessons Learnt. An Austrian Perspective. (Andreas Pichler, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, Austria)
  • Post-disaster changes to risk prevention and mitigation in New Zealand (Lindy Fursman, New Zealand Treasury)
  • JICA’s Cooperation for DRR & Linking DRR to Sustainable Development by DR2AD Model (Kimio Takeya, JICA, Japan)

Session 2: Engaging the private sector in risk prevention and mitigation - what can be done to scale up efforts? View presentations here

  • Insuring Resiliance, Managing Extremes: Reframing the Primary Colours of Capital, Science & Policy to Encode Security & Growth (Rowan Douglas, Willis Research Network)
  • Nestlé - Property Loss Prevention Program (Lionel Tanner, Latin America Regional Risk & Insurance, Nestlé)
  • Risk prevention & mitigation: Identifying mainstream opportunities (Chris Zevenbergen, Water Science and Engineering Department, UNESCO-IHE)
  • EDF’s Action Plan for Adaptation: From weather crisis management to an action plan for adaptation (Claude Nahon, Electricité de France, EDF)

Session 3: What role for sub-national governments and local communities View presentations here

  • Flood Risk Management and Risk Governance: Aspects of Risk Management under Pressure (Martin Socher, Saxony Ministry of Environment and Technical University of Dresden, Germany)
  • What role for local authorities in France? (Nicolas Bauduceau, European Centre for Flood Risk Prevention, France)
  • Are we creating safe and sustainable communities? (David Murphy, United Kingdom Enviroment Agency)

Session 4: The need for joint action - what role for international collaboration? View presentations here

  • The role of the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine in the Prevention and Mitigation of Disruptive Shocks (Ingwer De Boeer, Rhine Commission and former Room for the River Program, The Netherlands)
  • International Cooperation in Water Management: Experiences from the Danube River Basin (Ivan Zavadsky, International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River Secretariat, Austria)
Session 5: Bringing it all together: policy options for governments (key insights from the meeting) View presentation here

Meeting documents



For more information please contact Catherine Gamper ([email protected])

See also

OECD Reviews of Risk Management Policies

=> Back to the Main Page on Risk Management



Related Documents