B5: Value of Information Analysis in Support of Environmental Decision-Making

Value-of-information (VOI) analysis is a formal decision-analytic tool with significant use in medical applications and industry, but its application to environmental decision-making has been limited. VOI tools evaluate the potential for better risk management decisions if further information is collected to reduce uncertainty in predictions of the outcomes of risk management actions. Even though the use of VOI for the regulatory decision-making and research planning of federal agencies has been advocated for many years, implementation has been limited. Specifically, the proposed research must be evaluated for the extent to which the resulting information would enhance confidence in the choice of a particular risk management option or cause another option to be favored.

This session will convene an expert panel to discuss the challenges and opportunities in the use of VOI approaches in regulatory decisions about research to inform interventions for environmental and health risks. This session will review VOI, look at advice on its use from the National Academies, Federal Advisory Committees, and others, describe case studies of its use in agencies, and discuss the workshop findings on ways to advance the use of VOI in environmental decision making. It will also provide a summary of the discussions at the GWU workshop on VOI use in Federal Agencies conducted in July 2019.


  • George Gray, Professor, George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health
  • Tyler Mayer, Scientist, Decision Management Systems, Charles River Analytics Inc.
  • Igor Linkov, Risk and Decision Science Team Lead, US Army Engineer Research and Development Center
  • Jeffrey Keisler, Professor of Management Information Systems, University of Massachusetts, Boston
  • Adam Finkel, Clinical Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health