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European Commission IMPACT ASSESSEMENT GUIDELINES 15

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European Commission IMPACT ASSESSEMENT GUIDELINES 15
LO SVILUPPO SOSTENIBILE NELL’AREA
EURO-MEDITERRANEA
Valutazione di impatto sanitario
European Commission
IMPACT ASSESSEMENT GUIDELINES
15 January 2009
Caltanissetta, 20-22 Settembre 2010

How to use these Guidelines?
These Guidelines are for Commission staff
preparing impact assessments. They consist
of a core text (this document) and annexes.
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The core text explains what IA is, presents the
key actors, sets out the procedural rules for
preparing, carrying out and presenting an IA, and
gives guidance on the analytical steps to follow in
the IA work
The annexes contain more detailed guidance that
may also be of help.
Additional guidance material to help with
analysing specific impacts
Caltanissetta, 20-22 Settembre 2010

Where to find more advice and support?
These Guidelines should provide answers to many
of your questions. The IA support unit/function in
your DG will also be a key source of help and
should be your central contact point for all IA
related questions. For general questions on IA, you
should contact the Secretariat General’s Impact
Assessment Unit (SG.C.2). The Impact Assessment
Board (IAB) can also be consulted on
methodological issues
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IMPACT ASSESSMENT BASICS AND
PROCEDURES
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What is impact assessment?

In doing an IA, you will have to answer a number of
questions:
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What is the nature and scale of the problem, how is it
evolving, and who is most affected by it?
What are the views of the stakeholders concerned?
Should the Union be involved?
If so, what objectives should it set to address the problem?
What are the main policy options for reaching these
objectives?
What are the likely economic, social and environmental
impacts of those options?
How do the main options compare in terms of
effectiveness, efficiency and coherence in solving the
problems?
How could future monitoring and evaluation be organised?
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Presenting the findings: The IA report
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…in the following format
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Defining the problem

The problem definition should describe and provide evidence of the
nature and scale of the problem. You should identify the actors,
sectors and social groups that are primarily affected by it…. Some of
the major reasons for public intervention are presented in the
box below
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Developing a baseline scenario
Sensitivity analysis
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Risk Assessment
Decision-makers are often faced with the need to reduce or eliminate the risk of
adverse effects to the environment or to health. When the problem you are dealing
with is affected by risk, i.e. you can attach probabilities to different possible
outcomes; the IA will have to include a risk assessment as a tool to determine the
best policy to deal with this.
As a working definition you can equate the value of a given risk with the magnitude of
the hazard, multiplied by the probability that it will occur. When the hazard under
consideration may have consequences that are not yet fully scientifically established,
and that may be irreversible, a full risk assessment by a scientific committee is
necessary.
In such cases, particularly when risks to the environment and human, animal and
plant health are involved, the 'precautionary principle' may be applied as a first step
towards the management of risk
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WHAT ARE THE POLICY OBJECTIVES?
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The three steps of impact analysis
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Step 1 Identify, economic, social and environmental impacts
of a policy, why they occur and who is affected
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Step 2 Identifying the more important impacts
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The assessment of impacts in this step is generally qualitative. In this
approach, you should:
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Identify the areas in which the proposed action is intended to produce
benefits, as well as the areas where this may lead to direct costs or
unintended negative impacts.
Assign likelihoods (e.g. low, medium or high probability) that the impact will
occur (or conversely the risk that the impact will not occur). This can be done
by setting out your assumptions about factors that may influence the
probability that impacts will occur, but which are outside the control of those
managing the intervention.
Assess and estimate the magnitude of each impact (providing reasonable
ranges). This can be done by considering the influence of the intervention on
the behaviour of addressees and vis-à-vis the socio-economic and
environmental context in which the intervention takes place. Ask yourself
whether some of the impacts could be irreversible (See also Annex 12 on the
precautionary principle).
Assess the importance of impacts on the basis of the two preceding
elements (e.g. from low likelihood/low magnitude through to high
likelihood/high impact).
The causal model described in Annex 11.2 provides a basis on which
you can identify the main drivers and causal links underlying the
impacts you have identified
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Step 3 In-depth analysis of the most
significant impacts
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Building on the structured, qualitative analysis of step 2, further
in-depth analyses should be undertaken to produce a
quantitative/monetaryestimate of expected benefits and costs.
This can take a number of forms:
 In-depth analysis of expected impacts over time which typically
requires a case study/scenario approach. This type of analysis
can be implemented on its own, though in reality it is generally
used in conjunction with a quantitative analysis of impacts.
 Quantitative estimation of impacts: the impacts are estimated
using quantitative techniques, …. Essentially, the aim is to
understand the extent of the impacts of the policy options and to
estimate the costs and benefits in monetary form when this is
feasible…
If quantification/monetisation is not feasible, explain why.
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HOW DO THE OPTIONS COMPARE?
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Ranking the options
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ARRANGEMENTS FOR FUTURE
MONITORING AND EVALUATION
Policy makers need to be able to check if implementation is ‘on track’, and the
extent to which the policy is achieving its objectives…Indicators must serve a
clear purpose, i.e. measuring to what extent a policy has been properly
implemented and its objectives achieved. Another important factor in
choosing your indicators is the ease with which data can be collected;
collecting data should not be more costly than the value of the information
they provide.
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……commenti (*)
(*) Katherine E Smith, Gary Fooks, Jeff Collinet al. Is the increasing policy
use of Impact Assessment in Europe likely to undermine efforts to
achieve healthy public policy? J Epidemiol Community Health
2010;64:478e487. doi:10.1136/jech.2009.094300
Caltanissetta, 20-22 Settembre 2010
Commenti a priori
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Negli ultimi anni un grosso interesse si è
concentrato negli organismi UE e nei paesi membri
sull’uso della IA (Impact Assessment).
Significativo è stato l’aver attribuito particolare
importanza alla BIA (Business IA) e alla RIA
(Regulatory IA) rispetto alla HIA (Health IA).
L’aver incorporato la EIA (Enviromental IA), BIA e la
SIA (Social IA, entro cui è compresa la HIA) ha
consentito alla Commissione di promuovere questo
approccio come approfondito e complessivo.
E’ indiscutibile che il peso attribuito al BIA e
sicuramente superiore al SIA
Caltanissetta, 20-22 Settembre 2010
Risultati
Sulla base di una revisione di 300 articoli
concernenti queste valutazioni a priori “eight
fundamental concerns about IA and their relevance
to IA in the EU” sono state identificate:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
The difficulties in predicting ex-ante policy impacts
Information asymmetry
Valuing non-market goods in economic terms
Accounting for the distribution of impacts
Reducing the potential for the ‘precautionary principle’ to
serve as the basis for legislation
The resources required to undertake IA
Stakeholder involvement
A tool to delay and challenge regulation
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Conclusioni
If we accept that HIA increases ‘the
probability that the impact of policies is more
likely to benefit than to harm health,’ the
public health community needs to do more to
ensure that HIAs are undertaken or
sufficiently incorporated into ‘integrated’ IAs.
Caltanissetta, 20-22 Settembre 2010
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