Research leader

Prof Roger Jones
Prof Roger Jones Research Leader

Research team

Celeste Young Research Team
Dr John Symons Research Team

End User representatives

Ed Pikusa End-User
Suellen Flint
Suellen Flint End-User
Pauline Cole End-User
Patrick Schell End-User
Narelle Koteff End-User
Holly Foster
Holly Foster End-User
Liam Fogarty
Liam Fogarty End-User
Chris Irvine
Chris Irvine End-User

Current government spending on natural disaster response is more than 20 times the spending on preparedness. Many climate-related natural hazards are increasing, along with the number of people living in hazard-prone areas. Large natural disasters also cross domains, moving from the private to the public realm, and shifting from a local, to a state or national concern. This raises the potential of future, unmanaged risks.

The spending mismatch is well understood, but potential deficits in important social and environmental values are also faced that may not be adequately compensated. If a risk is owned, then the balance between preparedness and response can be assessed. If the risk is un-owned, these values may be damaged and degraded, or lost.

The project, now in its utilisation phase, mapped a broad range of economic, social and environmental values and related them to natural hazards across several case studies. It explored who owns these values and what happens when they cross domains, as well as how a range of alternative strategies may contribute to improved resilience by sustaining economic, social and environmental values in a changing environment.

Four decision making areas were identified where risk ownership can be assessed as part of strategic decision making.

  • Risk ownership was found to show an imbalance between the public and private sectors, which is potentially unsustainable. In particular, allocation for state and local government was considerably higher for risk and consequences and risk actions than was for the ownership of values at risk.
  • Coordination between contributing agencies and agendas is needed to clarify ownership and support more effective management of activities and use of resources. Risk ownership in areas contributing to resilience and risk reduction were found across multiple agencies and agendas. This was particularly the case in agencies who work with regional and community development and climate change adaptation. Coordination between contributing agencies and agendas is needed to clarify ownership and support more effective allocation and use of resources.
  • Risk ownership relevant to strategic decision making is ill-defined, particularly for longer term activities focusing on recovery and resilience building. No long-term (two or more years) policy, plans or strategies for environmental or social recovery to natural hazards were found.
  • Knowledge gaps were found across long-term strategic horizons (two or more years) in relation to mapping and identifying ownership of risks and consequences, and resilience and recovery activities – particularly for flood and heatwave hazards, and for social and environmental values.

To assist decision-makers, emergency managers and planners, the team developed a governance framework to support better understanding of risk ownership. The next stage of utilisation will involve training for practitioners on the best way to use the framework for their needs.

Achieving effective risk ownership requires a common understanding of how risks are changing and consensus and acceptance around who owns these risks and how they own them. This research goes beyond simple linear approaches, to a more adaptive and flexible approach focused on what values are identified as most important by risk owners.

Year Type Citation
2017 Conference Paper Rumsewicz, M. Research proceedings from the 2017 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Conference. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC annual conference 2017 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2017 Conference Paper Young, C. & Jones, R. The uncomfortable conversation: understanding value through risk ownership. AFAC17 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2017 Report Jones, R., Young, C. & Symons, J. Mapping values and risks from natural hazards at geographic and institutional scales: framework development. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2017 Report Young, C. & Jones, R. Risk ownership for natural hazards: summary of key research findings. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2016 Journal Article Young, C. & Jones, R. Owning the future: risk ownership and strategic decision-making for natural hazards. Australian Journal of Emergency Management 31, (2016).
2016 Report Young, C., Jones, R. & Symons, J. Understanding values at risk and risk ownership workshop synthesis report. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2016 Report Young, C., Jones, R. & Symons, J. Mapping and understanding bushfire and natural hazard vulnerability and risks at the institutional scale: Annual project report 2015-2016. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2016 Report Young, C., Symons, J. & Jones, R. Institutional maps of risk ownership for strategic decision making. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2015 Conference Paper Rumsewicz, M. Research proceedings from the 2015 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC conference. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC annual conference 2015 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2015 Conference Paper Jones, R., Young, C. & Symons, J. Risk ownership and natural hazards: across systems and across values - peer viewed. Adelaide Conference 2015 (2015).
2015 Report Young, C. & Jones, R. Mapping and Understanding Bushfire and Natural Hazard Vulnerability and Risks at the Institutional Scale Annual Report 2014. (2015).
2015 Report Young, C., Jones, R. & Symons, J. Mapping and understanding bushfire and natural hazard vulnerability and risks at the institutional scale: Annual project report 2014-2015. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2015 Report Young, C., Symons, J. & Jones, R. Whose risk is it anyway?. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2014 Report Young, C. The Problem Solution Framework. (2014).
Date Title Download Key Topics
27 Mar 2014 Mapping bushfire hazard and vulnerability and risk PDF icon 543.08 KB (543.08 KB) risk analysis, vulnerability
10 Apr 2015 Mapping and Understanding 2015 NSW RAF Presentation PDF icon 1.9 MB (1.9 MB) risk analysis, vulnerability
11 Sep 2015 Risk ownership of natural hazards: Across systems and across values PDF icon 334.97 KB (334.97 KB) multi-hazard, risk management
17 May 2016 Mapping and understanding bushfire and natural hazard vulnerability and risks at the institutional scale PDF icon 2.81 MB (2.81 MB) multi-hazard, risk analysis, vulnerability
30 Aug 2016 Owning the future: risk ownership and strategic decision-making for natural hazards - Celeste Young PDF icon 2.86 MB (2.86 MB) multi-hazard, risk analysis, risk management
27 Oct 2016 Economics and strategic decisions - cluster overview File 0 bytes (0 bytes) decision making, economics, policy
15 Dec 2016 What can economics offer emergency services? PDF icon 891.78 KB (891.78 KB) decision making, economics, policy
18 Apr 2017 Mapping and Understanding Natural Hazard Vulnerability at the Institutional Scale PDF icon 1 MB (1 MB) economics, multi-hazard, vulnerability
07 Jul 2017 Understanding the value and challenges of risk mitigation PDF icon 4.17 MB (4.17 MB) economics, mitigation, resilience
30 Aug 2017 Understanding what risk is yours - and what to do about it PDF icon 394.66 KB (394.66 KB) decision making, policy, risk management
07 Sep 2017 The uncomfortable conversation: understanding value through risk ownership PDF icon 4.42 MB (4.42 MB) economics, multi-hazard, vulnerability
01 Jun 2018 Fire Australia Issue Two 2018 PDF icon 6.73 MB (6.73 MB) communities, decision making, emergency management
Communicating Dynamic Risk in a Connected World; Perceptions and Possibilities
18 Aug 2015
Bushfires and natural hazards are a dynamic risk where risk levels are unpredictable and more likely to...
Roger Jones Conference Poster 2016
12 Aug 2016
The project has moved its focus from spatial mapping towards insitutional mapping to support strategic...
Introducing the risk ownership framework for emergency management policy and practice
30 Jun 2017
This project aims to develop a framework for understanding the ownership of risks from bushfires and natural...