Stepping up the public understanding of risk
(From left:) Prof Tan, Lloyd’s Register Foundation Executive Director Prof Richard Clegg and Prof Koh officially launching the Institute
As the world becomes less predictable, we need a better understanding of the perils ahead in order to be more prepared. Aiming to further their mission to better communicate and improve the public understanding of risk, Lloyd’s Register Foundation Institute for Public Understanding of Risk (IPUR) has established partnerships and collaborations with global analytics and advice firm Gallup and Understanding Risk (UR), a global community of over 9,000 experts and practitioners interested and active in the creation, communication and use of disaster risk information.
At the Institute’s official office opening on 4 June, NUS signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Gallup, agreeing to work together to generate new research and development activities centred around the global perception, measurement and communication of risk. NUS is the first university in Singapore and Southeast Asia to partner Gallup on the Lloyd’s Register Foundation World Risk Poll, a first-of its-kind endeavour aimed to understand the attitudes of 98 per cent of the world’s adult population on the most pressing risks faced and feared by individuals in their daily lives. Through this collaboration, NUS researchers will be able to access new emerging data, as well as Gallup’s global archive of cross-country comparable data. The analysis from the results of this Poll could lay the groundwork to shape international policy and the implementation of relevant interventions.
IPUR’s collaboration with UR — an initiative of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery which is part of the World Bank Group — was also announced. They will partner to organise the 10th anniversary of the UR Forum which will be held in Singapore from 18 to 22 May 2020. The forum is held every two years and offers opportunity for the members to share knowledge and experience, collaborate, and discuss innovations and best practice in risk assessment.
“The world we are living in has become more complex and less predictable. Increasingly, we are experiencing different types of risks and we do not have a good understanding of the impact they can bring about — such as those arising from new technologies, changing climate and emerging diseases. To better address these challenges, multidisciplinary teams across academia, industry and government are required. NUS IPUR, being part of the University’s vibrant research ecosystem, is well positioned to bring broad-based research capabilities into the partnership,” said Professor Koh Chan Ghee, Director of IPUR.
IPUR was set up in 2017 through a donation from the Lloyd’s Register Foundation and funding from NUS to offer an Asian context in the research into the public understanding of risk and communication of risk. The Institute accomplishes its aims through conducting scientific and empirical research, and organising workshops and outreach events.
“IPUR has gotten a strong start and is poised to do so much better ahead. Risk analysis and management will continue to play an integral role in planning and governance whether at a personal, institutional or governmental policy level. We seek continued support from the Foundation and everyone here,” said NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye.