A six month EVOC research project examining different systems of social impact assessment used in some different public sector and third sector bodies to inform and evaluate decision-making. How do public bodies assess social impacts of budget and project decisions?
The main conclusions from this report:
- There is no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ impact assessment – there are many methods of completing impact assessment; any process that considers how decisions may affect service users is better than no process at all
- There is no single ‘best’ system of impact assessment – different processes are needed in order to deal with differing needs or necessities.
- Evaluation is key to impact assessment – simply predicting future outcomes is not enough because any data gained will not be accurate enough. Looking forward is never as certain as counting backwards.
- User Benefit = Encourage User Buy-In – Immediate user benefits will encourage users to spend time conducting an Impact Assessment.
- Outsourcing responsibility is not an option – service-providers should take responsibility for their choices.
- Do something – With the growing understanding of and expertise in the subject, there is no reason for an agency not to conduct some form of impact assessment
- Conduct appropriate research – This report, those referenced within the report, and the agencies named within the case studies are intended to be useful and reliable resources.
- Impact Assessment Network – By building a loose network of those who develop and practise impact assessment; current processes and their outcomes can be discussed in order to improve systems and potentially propose city-wide strategic solutions.
Read the Executive Summary and full report below: