The treatment of social and distributional impacts in appraisal and evaluation

Project details

Full project title: The treatment of social and distributional impacts in appraisal and evaluation - Literature review

Sponsors: Department for Transport

Project Manager: Dr Graham Parkhurst

Researcher: Ian Shergold

Project partners: Atkins (lead) and British Market Research Bureau

Start date: June 2007

Finish date: June 2008

Research briefing sheet: Download the briefing sheet document

Project summary

This project for the Department for Transport set out to examine the current evaluation of social and distributional impacts (SDIs) in transport scheme appraisal and evaluation.

  1. Phase one of the project, carried out by Centre for Transport and Society, was a literature review.
  2. Stage two sought qualitative evidence from practitioners about how SDIs are considered in practice.
  3. Stage three will provide a synthesis of experience, drawing on case-study evaluations, and provide outputs relevant for the refresh of the New Approach to Appraisal (NATA).

The overall project had three objectives:

  • to understand how to better take social and distributional impacts into account in the development of transport scheme design and appraisal
  • to examine how evidence from social research can best be integrated into appraisal so that it is given appropriate weight in decision-making
  • to identify the implications that any proposed approach(es) for better taking social and distributional impacts into account in appraisal may have for subsequent post-implementation transport scheme evaluation.

The literature review was expected to contribute directly to the first of these, but where possible to provide input for the responses to the second and third.

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