Pandemics top national risk-management frameworks in many countries. For example, pandemic influenza tops the natural hazards matrix of the UK National Risk Register, and emerging infectious diseases are tagged as of considerable concern. Seen as a medical problem, each outbreak of a potentially dangerous infection prompts authorities to ask a rational set of questions and dust off the menu of response options that can be implemented as needed in a phased manner, according to Richard Smith-Bingham, Executive Director of Insights at Marsh & McLennan Advantage, and Kavitha Hariharan, Director at Marsh & McLennan Insights.
Reality, however, is generally more disruptive, as national governments and supranational agencies balance health security and economic and social imperatives on the back of imperfect and evolving intelligence. It’s a governance challenge that may result in long-term consequences for communities and businesses. On top of this, they also need to accommodate human behavior.