Applications of Risk Analysis to Public Policy

Professor: Willis
Units: 0.5
Elective Course
Concentrations: Quantitative Methods and Social and Behavioral Science

The methods of risk analysis provide tools and processes for helping policy makers decide what problems to address, how to address them and in which order to do so. They have been applied across diverse topics that are reflected in RAND research including public health, infrastructure design, acquisition management, and homeland security. The course introduces concepts of risk analysis and tools that can be used in all stages of risk management. Topics covered will include frameworks for risk management policy, probabilistic risk assessment for engineered systems, acquisition risk management, natural disaster risk assessment, human health risk assessment, risk analysis for strategic planning, terrorism risk analysis, and risk communication. In each case, the course will introduce tools and methods using policy relevant case studies as examples and highlighting inherent assumptions and limitations of each.