Important legal notice
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Environment - Understanding the environment and the impacts of green technologies
“To review statistical methods to facilitate improved assessment of environmental policies and policy options, especially for children.”

The problem

The effect on health of existing or planned environmental policies can only be assessed if rigorous and consistent statistical tools are available. Two such tools are the ‘Value of a Statistical Life’ (VSL), used to assess the cost of achieving a statistical reduction in mortality, and the ‘Quality-Adjusted Life Year’ (QALY), which takes account of the quality of life associated with any health problem and the interventions that combat it. These tools have largely been developed using adult populations. There is a need to check and extend their validity when used with children, to ensure that policy decisions are made on a sound basis.

VERHI Children  Tailoring environmental policy for children


VERHI Children will review statistical tools used to assess the benefits of environmental policies, facilitating improved allocation of resources in policy decisions.

The project will:

  • Review benefits assessment practices across the EU, with particular regard to their application to children
  • Compare and reconcile the use of the VSL and QALY statistical tools, focusing on factors that might affect the validity of these tools when applied to children
  • Consider what adjustments may be required to allow mortality risk reductions estimated in one country to be transferable to other countries

Contribution to policy development:

  • VERHI Children will review key statistical methods used by policy-makers to assess the effects of existing policies and plan new cost-effective policies.
  • The project will refine statistical tools to make them more suited to the needs of policies focused on child health.
  • It will analyse the scope for policy-makers to transfer knowledge and experience in the field between different countries.

Project deliverables

  • Review of existing policies and methods – January-June 2006
  • Survey of United Kingdom, Italy and Czech Republic to provide estimates of willingness to pay (WTP) for risk reductions to adult and child populations – January-December 2007
  • International workshop on the valuation of environment-related health impacts for different populations and impact of individual characteristics – June 2008
  • Report on the incorporation of environment-related health impacts in government policymaking, with a focus on implications for children – December 2008
  • Policy recommendations – December 2008


  • Project website – from January 2006
  • International workshop for academics, policy-makers, and others – June 2008
  • OECD-led dissemination of technical reports and final report to academic and policy communities – June 2006-December 2008
  • Published papers in a wide variety of high quality academic journals – submitted as appropriate
  • Policy briefs for wide dissemination of results in a non-technical manner – by December 2008

Technical information

Project acronym: VERHI Children
Project’s official full title: Valuation of Environment-Related Health Impacts: Accounting for Differences Across Age and Latency with a Particular Focus on Children
Research priority: The Impact of Environmental Issues on Health
Specific webpage:
Proposal/contract no: 6529
Start date: 01/01/2006
Kick off meeting: June 2006
Completion date: 31/12/2008
European Commission scientific officer: Tuomo Karjalainen,

Name: National Policies Division, Environment Directorate, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Abbreviated name: OECD
2 rue Andre Pascal,
75775 Paris
Cedex 16
Country: France
Tel: +33 (0) 1 45 24 82 00
Fax: +33 (0) 1 45 24 85 00


Name: Sustainability Indicators and Economic Valuation Program, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei
Abbreviated name: FEEM
Country: Italy

Name: Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment, University of East Anglia
Abbreviated name: UEA
Country: United Kingdom

Name: Environmental Economics Unit, Charles University Environment Centre
Abbreviated name: CUEC
Country: Czech Republic