Impact Assessment and Evaluation
Developing appropriate and effective policies, and identifying the best way to put these policies into practice, requires a lot of thinking ahead. Assessing the intended and unintended impacts (both positive and negative) before implementation is a pre-requisite for ensuring that the objectives are achieved in an efficient and equitable manner. Undertaking detailed impact assessments of proposals for all new and amended legislation is the means by which this is achieved. Of course, it is often necessary to also evaluate the shortcomings of the existing legislative regime in order to closely define the objectives of the proposed legislative changes.
RPA carries out impact assessments and associated evaluations for several different Directorate Generals of the European Commission, the UK Government and others. We currently hold a number of framework contracts with the European Commission (DG Enterprise, DG Sanco) to conduct impact assessments of proposals for legislative change. Increasingly, we are working for industry clients who wish to have their views considered when legislative proposals are being considered by policy makers.
Conducting evaluations and impact assessment requires the simultaneous application of a number of data gathering and analytical tools, some of which are listed below:
- Literature review
- Consultation with those likely to be affected by the proposed changes. This can be done using questionnaires (usually online), focus group meetings, telephone/video conferences, workshops and individual interviews (both face to face as well as by phone)
- Quantitative analysis using tools such as cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, risk assessment or risk-benefit analysis
- Qualitative and semi-quantitative analysis using tools such as multi-criteria analysis, ranking exercises or scoring and weighting
- Modelling and sensitivity analysis to allow consideration of different scenarios and different values for key variables where there is potential uncertainty and variation
- Development of detailed case studies
Since being established in 1990, RPA has become expert in using these tools and has often been instrumental in their development and wider application by others (multi-criteria analysis and risk-benefit analysis being examples).
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