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Public Policy group

Head:  Prof. Eran Feitelson, Hebrew University

Once the threats to life and property have been identified, the possibilities of how to mitigate them will be outlined. Based on interdisciplinary work which will include engineers, natural scientists and social scientists, this group will focus on the identification and assessment of potential responses to the various hazards Israel may confront, taking into account the state of the art knowledge in the relevant fields as well as the institutional capacities required to plan and carry out these responses. 

Similarly, outputs from all other groups will be assessed in order to examine their policy implications.  In essence, for each Center research output the question will be asked "what policy measures are needed to operationalize this research result?"  These measures will then be subject to the implementation analysis outlined below.

We explore and examine impact assessment models, integrating social, economic, environmental and health considerations. These will serve as policy supporting tools for preparedness and mitigation measures.  As part of this effort we put particular emphasis on the engagement of various stakeholders in the process, including the wider non-professional public.  A variety of outreach tools will be utilized, such as focus groups, surveys and personal interviews. 

After identification of the potential mitigation measures, the focus will shift to their implementability.  To this end the factors that affect the implementation need to be identified.  These implementation steps will be scrutinized, both by assessing the record of implementation of each policy instrument abroad, and by normatively outlining the process that needs to occur to implement a specific measure in Israel.

A simultaneous focus will be on augmenting the methods and approaches that can be used to increase the likelihood that such measures will be implemented.  Essentially, implementation is not a yes/no issue, and can be affected by various actions taken by different actors.  Hence, the actors who are involved in the implementation of the various measures, including those who may impede implementation, have to be identified. Moreover, it is rare that a single measure will suffice. Thus, the ability to advance policy packages to address the various threats identified by other groups will be explored.  This will be based on the ability of institutions to advance such measures and the degree of social receptivity to, and uptake of, the suggested responses. This is particularly relevant where the degree of adjustment is very large and/or adjustments are needed to address previously unfamiliar threats, such as those calling for transformational changes in settlement patterns and land uses. While such policy packages have been advanced recently to address the retrofitting of residential buildings against earthquakes, there is a need to identify similar policy packages for other threats as well.  Though it may be impossible to fully structure such policy packages for all threats, it may be possible to identify the main elements of such packages for at least the threats considered to be of highest priority. This prioritization will be based on the screening (needs assessment) that will be undertaken in the first year.

The Public policy group also translates applicable outputs from other groups into public policy recommendations