As the first global study of worry and risk issues, the Lloyd’s Register Foundation’s World Risk Poll, conducted by Gallup in 142 countries, provides one of the most comprehensive global snapshots of people’s perceptions and experiences of issues such as climate change, water safety, violence, accidents and cyber threats. Now researchers at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and USC David and Dana Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles, California, will help major international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) put those findings into action, thanks to a £200,000 grant from Lloyd’s Register Foundation.
The USC research team will be led by USC Price Professor Wändi Bruine de Bruin*, who worked collaboratively with the Foundation on the development of the 2019 World Risk Poll which surveyed 154,000 adults around the world, along with the Director of the USC Dornsife Public Exchange™ Kate Weber**.
The USC team will now analyse and use the poll findings to help inform and enhance risk communications and intervention programs for NGOs, helping them to empower communities around the world through education and promotion of a better public understanding of safety and risk issues.
“We created the World Risk Poll to provide data to organisations, communities and individuals to empower them to take meaningful actions and interventions that reduce risk and ultimately saves lives,” said Dr. Sarah Cumbers, Director of the Evidence and Insight Centre at Lloyd’s Register Foundation. “The work being carried out now by USC’s research team is a great example of how the data can be used to drive positive change in risk communication programs.”
“The data collected by the World Risk Poll is unprecedented in its scope and depth, and for the first time provides us with meaningful data on a global scale as to people’s risk perceptions on major issues impacting their lives,” said Bruine de Bruin. “This grant will allow us to put this data into action by helping the world’s humanitarian organisations enhance risk communication programs and interventions on critical life-impacting issues.”
“The World Risk Poll surveyed countries for which we previously had little data,” said Weber. “This research will now be used to effect tangible results in the real world – for governments, international organisations and in partnership with communities working to address risks and make people feel safer.”
Under the grant, the USC research team will develop and carry out a number of programme elements, including international outreach workshops, research-into-action briefs, risk-communication checklists, a project website, mentorship, articles and other communication activities.
You can find out more about the findings of the World Risk Poll here.
*Lead researcher Wändi Bruine de Bruin is a Provost Professor of Public Policy, Psychology and Behavioral Science at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. She has published more than 125 peer-reviewed publications on the psychology of risk perception and communication, as applied to personal health, sustainability and climate change, as well as household finances.
**Kate Weber is the Director of Public Exchange™ at USC Dornsife, a social impact program that fast-tracks collaboration between academic researchers and public and private partners to solve complex problems. She previously worked at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where she developed environmental protection, health, civil society and infrastructure development projects across five countries.