A socio-economic impact assessment is a structured way of a showing a proposal’s advantages and disadvantages for society as a whole and for various parties. A socio-economic impact assessment is therefore an important part of the reports that we conduct.
An impact assessment is a way of structuring both the analysis and the underlying information for decision-making. It identifies and analyses the objective of a proposal as well as the likely impacts on society from the proposal.
A socio-economic impact assessment weighs the socio-economic cost against the socio-economic benefit. As far as possible, the analysis includes the consequences for all participants in society and all kinds of impacts, for example:
The impacts should, if possible, be described in economic terms. Thus, a socio-economic impact assessment differs from, for example, an environmental impact assessment, which focuses on the environmental and health-related effects from a scientific perspective.
A socio-economic impact assessment may have different ambition levels, depending on the scope of the environmental problem and availability of data. The choise of the ambition level principally affects how thoroughly the various stages of the impact analysis are described.
The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency's work includes developing proposals for decisions that will be taken by the agency or other organisations – often the government or parliament.
A key part of the work in assuring the quality of proposals involves ensuring that they are explained clearly. It is important that the proposals' objective or target is set out clearly and that it is explained how the proposals can be expected to lead to the achievement of the objective or target.
Performing a socio-economic impact assessment is a way of setting out the various effects of a proposal in a clear and structured way. By evaluating various proposals' expected consequences for society as a whole and its various participants, it is also possible to compare the various proposed options.
A socio-economic impact assessment therefore forms an important part of the reports we conduct. Moreover, internal and external requirements demand that a socio-economic impact assessment should always be performed as part of developing proposals for the purpose of decision-making. However, it is important to note that this analysis should primarily be viewed as one way of supporting and providing a basis for decision-making, rather than being the only criteria to be judged.