European Research for Impact Assessment Tools

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Podhora, Aranka/Helming, Katharina/Adenäuer, Lucie/Heckelei, Thomas/Kautto, Petrus/Reidsma, Pytrik/Rennings, Klaus/Turnpenny, John/Jansen, Jacques/Baltes, Philipp (2014), European Research for Impact Assessment Tools. LIAISE Innovation Report No. 6.



This is the 6th issue of the LIAISE ('Linking Impact Assessment Instruments to Sustainability Expertise') Innovation Report. The aim of this series is to shed light on the science-policy interface of policy Impact Assessment (IA). The application of analytical tools in policy IA is a means to include scientific knowledge in IA exercises and the policy process. Tools are used to capture the causal relationship between planned policies and its likely social, economic and environmental impacts and hence inform the analytical process of the assessment. The development of analytical tools which are readily applicable for IA is an emergent field of research. The European Commission, in its Framework Programmes (FP) on research funding, has also invested in research promoting those tools.

LIAISE Work Package 2 (led by the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research, Müncheberg, Germany) analysed in a comprehensive survey research projects funded in nine years of EU FP 6 and 7 that were developing tools for IA (Podhora et al., 2013). The analysis was conducted with regard to the policy area and the impact areas which the tools were designed for, the jurisdictional levels the tools were designed for, as well as tool types.

The survey identified that the scope of scientific tools designed in FP6 and 7 does not allow a comprehensive IA with view to sustainable development in all policy areas and impact areas on every jurisdictional level. These results clearly demonstrate a focus on selected European policy areas and their corresponding impact areas.

The study concluded that these gaps should form part of an IA research agenda that is currently developed by the authors and the Work Package (for further information on the Shared Research Agenda, see here).

The second part of the Innovation Report contains a number of short reviews of interesting recent publications, among others dealing with (conceptual and empirical) evaluations of the EU Impact Assessment system, the Sustainability Impact Assessment Tool (SIAT), which is a meta-model to support ex-ante assessment of policy amendments of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), various understandings of public participation in environmental impact assessment, and with the implementation of climate protection at the regional/local level and in sectoral planning through Strategic Environmental Assessment.

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