Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 17/11/2011

Developing effective ex ante social impact assessment with a focus on methodology, tools and data sources (Belgium)

Ex ante Impact Assessment, recently defined by the European Commission in its 2009 Impact Assessment Guidelines, is a process of weighing up the potential impacts of a policy before it is implemented.Socialimpact assessment evaluates how a given policy may impact on social indicators such as poverty or social exclusion and fit into the Europe 2020 Strategy for a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy. The 2010 Update of the Joint Assessment by the Social Protection Committee and the European Commission of the social impact of the economic crisis and of policy responses states that as fiscal consolidation measures risk aggravating further the social consequences of the crisis, Member States should reinforce their capacity to assess the social impacts of their major policy and spending decisions.

Host Country : Belgium

Place and date : Brussels, 17. - 18.11.2011

Peer countries : Austria - Cyprus - Finland - France - Greece - Ireland - Luxembourg - Norway - Spain

Stakeholders : Coface, EAPN

Following on from a Peer Review on social impact assessment held in Slovakia in 2008, an EU-funded study investigated different ways of implementing social impact assessments across the EU and outlined key areas where implementation could be improved. One of these was the development of tools for measuring the quantitative implications of policies, particularly where current assessments lack substance.

Belgium made social impact assessment a priority during its presidency of the EU in the second half of 2010 and continues to search for better ways of carrying out such assessments. Sharing methods for ex ante social impact assessment will help to improve techniques in Belgium and elsewhere.

Peer Review manager

Ms Katja Korolkova (ÖSB Consulting GmbH)

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