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A framework for exploring effectivenes

Gronow, C., Brown, L. and Morrison-Saunders, A. (2015) A framework for exploring effectivenes. In: Impact Assessment in the Digital Era, 35th Annual Conference of the International Association for Impact Assessment, 20 - 23 April, Florence, Italy

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Impact assessment (IA) was envisaged as operating in conjunction with a rational approach to government decision making about development, based on “a belief that knowledge and rationality applied to public issues are more likely to yield results in the public interest then inadequately informed action or narrowly focussed objectives” (Caldwell, 1998, p. 12). Since its introduction through the US National Environmental Policy Act 1969, IA has been almost universally adopted and has developed into a range of tools including environmental impact assessment of projects and strategic environmental assessment of policies, programs and plans, as well as focussed applications such as social impact assessment and health impact assessment (Morgan, 2012). Its regulatory basis and common procedural requirements have developed along a technical-rational model that “aims to provide a prescriptive approach for decision makers who want to think systematically about environmental factors in decision-making” (Nilsson & Dalkmann, 2001, p. 308).

Does IA have the effects intended, either on decision-making, as originally envisaged or elsewhere within the process of developing proposals for policies, programs, plans or projects?

This paper briefly explores ideas and evidence about how IA may have an effect by exerting influence on development outcomes.

Publication Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: IAIA
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