Impact Assessment

Policy impact assessment is a research method to support the development of new policies, instruments and measures. As a formalized process for knowledge-based (see also: knowledge-based environmental policy) of  Impact Assessment of policy development in the European Union, it has been introduced in all OECD countries and beyond.

The impact assessment process usually follows a series of standardized steps: first, the policy problem is to be addressed and identified; then targets are defined and options are identified which may be appropriate to achieve these goals.

These options are then analyzed and compared in terms of their contribution to achieving the objective and their likely impact on the economic, environmental and social issues. The goal is not only to detect unintended effects, but also to capture the possible side effects and their adverse effects on environment and society. On this basis, the policy options are compared and identified for possible synergies and trade-offs with other policy objectives and flanking measures to minimize adverse effects. In this way a foundation is to be provided for the assessment of policy options that are best suited to achieve the regulatory target and to develop the smallest possible unwanted side effects.

The FFU deals with the processes and tools of impact assessment of policy in various jurisdictions and in the comparative perspective. A special focus is given to the consideration and integration of sustainability aspects into policy impact assessment.

In addition, tools and methods are being developed that can be used to carry out policy impact assessments. In this way, we combine basic research on processes, methods and tools with their practical application in the impact assessment.

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The Framework Contract with the European Parliament includes external expert services in the fields of impact assessment and European added values in a broad range of areas. (more)

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The project will develop methodological approaches towards analyzing distributional effects of environmental policies that considers qualitative as well as quantitative income and employment effects.

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It is the aim of the study to analyze actions as well as quality goals of national and European sustainability policies with regard to their compatibility with the overarching guiding principles of European environmental programs. In this way the project aims at improving governance and steering among them.

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The Environmental Policy Research Centre gives an overview on the recent developments in sustainability impact assessment (SIA). The study looks at innovations in SIA processes within the European Commission and five European countries.

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Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is already a standardised and institutionalised framework, which has been in place for decades and has been integrated in legislation and regulation for many years. However, EIA has also been thoroughly criticized for being a marginal and disconnected procedure with no real influence on decision-making processes.

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The aim of this project is to identify means for improving the effectiveness of RIA in enhancing policy coherence in the design and implementation of regulatory and environmental policy.

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The aim of the project is to improve the operational relevance and use of IA tools by uniting the multi-disciplinary competences of large European institutes in the field of IA tools.

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On behalf of the Bertelsmann Foundation the Environmental Policy Research Centre examined options for the implementation of a sustainability impact assessment within the German legislative process.

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One important analytical tool among different Life-Cycle Approaches is Life Cycle Assessment as described and standardised by ISO.

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The I.Q.Tools project developed an internet-based software designed to support the process of Impact Assessment within the European Commission.

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The proposed research project aimed at developing a contribution for an implementable consideration of the requirements of sustainable development in new policy initiatives of the different branches of administration.

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