The role of cultural factors in assessing risk


Cultural factors, such as belief systems, perception of risk or propensity to act on risks, clearly have a role to play in such risk assessments. It may be problematic for communities to identify these objectively. External involvement from “facilitators” could help to start the discussions around cultural factors, using tools such as the matrix produced by Cannon et al. The authors offer two “matrices” for DMAs, to guide them in producing a synthesised understanding of cultural factors they need to be aware of both for locals and the organisation itself. They say that “using this approach, it may be possible to identify the ways that beliefs and behaviours around risk can be acknowledged, transformed or overcome”.

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