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LIAISE — Result In Brief

Project ID: 243826
Funded under: FP7-ENVIRONMENT
Country: Netherlands

Enhanced tools to optimise policy impact assessment

Impact assessments (IAs) have the potential to boost sustainable development and evidence informed policy making. An EU initiative aimed to realise the full potential of the many developed tools that support IA but remain unexploited by policymakers.
Enhanced tools to optimise policy impact assessment
The EU-funded LIAISE (Linking impact assessment instruments to sustainability expertise) project set out to reveal why IA tools are not being used effectively and to create a shared IA toolbox targeted at the needs of both researchers and practitioners, as well as a shared research agenda.

Work began by contacting IA practitioners, arranging workshops, identifying and analysing user requirements, and collecting user feedback. Results of a stakeholder analysis revealed the need for a better understanding and cooperation between researchers from the modelling disciplines and those from policy and social sciences. The analysis led to better awareness of the concept and roles of IA methods and tools in the policy process, as well as the understanding that the scientific content of an IA method or tool cannot and should not be separated from its policy context. As a consequence, a major part of the research has been targeted at sharpening the views on the roles and responsibilities of researchers and policy-makers in policy processes, on the process of Knowledge Brokerage and on the question how to support these activities with ‘contextualized knowledge and information’.

Several tools were developed to ensure this contextualisation. The LIAISE KIT, a web-based knowledge and community platform, provides access to scientific knowledge in IA for sustainable development and a forum to exchange news and collaborate on IA issues. A shared research agenda on strategic IA tools and methods was drawn up, and new IA tools were developed. A strategic dialogue between IA practitioners and different disciplines was also fostered. In addition, the team designed training curricula for young researchers, policymakers and IA practitioners.

Project partners intend to exploit the outcomes in order to transform LIAISE into a future Community of Practice (CoP) on IA research for sustainable development. The CoP will consist of a multidisciplinary network of researchers and research organisations that contribute to policy impact assessment and policymaking aimed at meeting societal needs in sustainable development. To this end, a charter and implementation and business plan have been drafted and approved.

LIAISE will ultimately improve policies and the durability of the IA network. This will allow for better targets and could inspire further excellent research on IA.

Related information


Policy impact assessment, impact assessment, sustainable development, policymaking, contextualized knowledge, transdisciplinary approach
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