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Handbook of efficient recommandations: Public Deliverable D6.4, PRIMA collaborative project, EU 7th Framework Programme, contract no. 212345

Abstract : The Deliverable 6.4 “Handbook of efficient recommendations” deals with the main methodological developments in the context of screening, scoping and Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) developed and discussed in PRIMA. The main topics of this handbook deal with key aspects of the methodological enhancement of Impact Assessment within the context of experiences in Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment. Key research is linked to the questions about (a) the better linkage of rural development policy scenario analysis to screening, scoping and impact assessment; (b) the enhancement of stakeholders’ engagement techniques to the screening of impacts and impact assessment; (c) the scoping of Agent Based Modelling of peoples’ behaviours and land use changes to impact assessment; (d) the linkage of population modelling to the scoping in impact assessment and (e) the methodological problem of scaling when combining local and regional scale levels of investigation. The organisation of this handbook of recommendations about methodological developments in screening, scoping and Impact Assessment is based on major definitions of terms and follows the main topics of (a) general improvements in impact assessment, (b) the clarification of the screening analysis from policies to objectives and scenario design, (c) the stakeholder perspectives and participatory approaches in the context of screening and scoping of policy impacts, (d) the role of Agent Based modelling and Micro-simulation for scoping and (e) the aggregated econometric modelling and scaling to in order to model policy impacts of rural development policies. The SIA of policies is based on the analysis of policy documents using matrices methods to link policies and impacts. Such structured analysis about the coherence between strategic planning documents and funding procedures should be linked to stakeholders’ perspectives and activities at the local scale. A clustering of municipalities is the basis for selection of representative case studies (regions) and because of the inherent complexity of policy impacts, also for interpretation of further monitoring of assessment activities. By comparing case study investigations, the variety and diversity of problems linked to policies, plans and programmes including driving forces and data issue, is explored. The integration of feedbacks, obtained from ex-ante evaluation and the formulation of potential future scenarios, can orientate further the formulation of policy formulation. Recommendations about stakeholder perspectives and participatory approaches in PRIMA, highlight that specification of the purpose of any stakeholder interaction is the first step to take. In relation to the identified information needs, a toolbox of methods is available to elicit information from stakeholders including interviews, surveys, focus groups, expert panels (think tanks), Delphi technique and others. Guidelines for choosing the most appropriate instrument to achieve successful engagement with stakeholders are essential. The problem to identify the appropriate stakeholders is linked first to the definition of the term ‘stakeholder’, over which confusion may arise, and second to the question of how to select the appropriate participants. PRIMA gives examples for useful inclusion of participatory approaches and about the used techniques to obtain information from stakeholders for the linkage of stakeholder knowledge to Impact Assessment. Generally a careful technique is required to ensure that stakeholder engagement activities yield credible results. A set of universal guidelines is developed. In PRIMA, integrated ABM and micro-simulation modelling confront population modelling and people’s behaviour dynamics as the basis to better comprehend agents’ behaviour resulting from policy effects. A structured integration of both the properties/activities of the main sectors and the stakeholders that drive or influence rural development is essential for the ABM/micro-simulation. Suitable modelling here should include the dynamics from household level up to the regional level on the basis of public statistics. The inclusion of land use/ land cover changes and of the environmental perspective into SIA investigation needs a further methodological development of site specific bio-physical modelling, combined with social and economic modelling, to integrate more aspects of sustainability. In this context, simulation experiments have been employed to test a large number of variables. This was done to determine uncertainty and sensitivity as a basis also for the improved regionalization by micro-simulation with stakeholder’s feedbacks. For the scoping in SIA of Rural Development policies it should be applicable for all sectors (not only for agriculture, tourism and forestry) on the basis of selected modelling tools, storylines and data. In contrast to ABM-micro-simulation, aggregated econometric and equilibrium modelling were employed in PRIMA for top town policy assessment, and scaling down of policy impact was done by employing econometrics. The possibilities for the re-use of SEAMLESS_IP software and model have been analysed with the goal of making it applicable to IA of rural development policies. Recommendations have also been made to clarify the linkage of population model outcomes which are useful for policy research. The modelling outcomes of ABM/micro-simulation and the aggregated model should be compared by means of assessments obtained by using the CMEF indicators framework. Impact assessment is seen as a tool for the screening and scoping of impacts of policy, plans, programmes and projects. The methodological development, including modelling for screening and scoping, should be intensified on the basis of statistics to explore the interlinkages between social, economic and environmental characteristics. In this context population change, the ageing of the society, impacts of economic activities, and other major social and economic driving factors are included in the content of a Sustainability Impact Assessment (SIA) when widening the impacts definition from the environmental to social and economic indications. A formal of SIA methods development using official guidelines of the EU seems to be a suitable way to apply the SIA in future. Stakeholder’s integration can enhance the quality of SIA at all scales. The selection of methods for impact indicators assessment includes the formulation of criteria related to problems of data availability, threshold levels and the orientation of change on the basis of policy goals. The CMEF is a suitable basis for the indication of policy changes on the regional scale level (Nuts 2), but further investigation is needed to break these indicators down to the local scale level. For Impact assessment it seems to be suitable to confront selected CMEF indicators with the project/ economic measures perspectives of agents’ behaviour on the local scale level. Finally a SIAT (Sustainability impact assessment tool) should include methods, data description lists, projects lists of potential SIA impacts and guidelines for the usage.
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Submitted on : Friday, May 15, 2020 - 10:55:19 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, March 24, 2021 - 10:52:04 AM

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B.C. Meyer, R. Laplana, M. Raley, O. Baqueiro, Diana Kopeva, et al.. Handbook of efficient recommandations: Public Deliverable D6.4, PRIMA collaborative project, EU 7th Framework Programme, contract no. 212345. irstea. 2011, pp.35. ⟨hal-02597731⟩

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