Risk management tools: Anticipate risks

Strategies and guidelines


Once the role of governments has been determined, there should be effective risk management strategies in place for each type of risk identified. Ministries and agencies should receive clear guidelines that define risk management structures, processes, and responsibilities. The occurrence of a risk situation should immediately trigger a specific government intervention.

For example, in the context of strengthening supply chains to ensure the provision of key essential goods in the event of a crisis situation, governments should, inter alia:

  • centralise the purchase of emergency supplies
  • undertake centralised price tracking and quality verification
  • facilitate transactions with template agreements, and
  • support contracting authorities by ensuring a better understanding of global supply chains, of contractual relationships, and on how to deal with foreign suppliers.

When a crisis situation emerges, governments should adapt guidelines to the specific situation. For example, monitoring and reporting will allow governments to reassess and adjust policies in light of changing needs; developing data-driven approaches will enable to better monitor of needs, supplies, and risks. Communication is also key so as promote public confidence in the ability of the government to overcome the crisis.

Policy action

  • Develop national strategies for governance of critical risks.
  • Assign national leadership roles for risk governance and management.
  • Engage all actors at the national and local government levels, and create partnerships with the private sector to achieve responsiveness and shared responsibilities that align with national strategy.
  • Ensure that risk management strategies are up-to-date and properly communicated to all government staff.

Source: Adapted from Figure 1.1, OECD (2016) Trends in Risk Communication Policies and Practices, OECD Reviews of Risk
Management Policies. Adapted from Health Protection Network (2008).

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