Like all governments, Brazil strives to develop policies that improve social, environmental and economic outcomes while ensuring that benefits outweigh costs. But it can be difficult to allocate budgets and prioritise policies with confidence without a reliable process that compares options in a way that is consistent, consultative and evidence-based.
The Brazilian Government's Energy Research Agency (EPE) wanted to develop such a process to appraise the likely impact of potential policy options, and evaluate the actual impact of policies that had already been implemented. Given the UK's long tradition of impact assessment and the Carbon Trust's expertise in designing and carrying out impact assessment for its own programmes, EPE turned to us to help it develop an organisational impact assessment strategy.
With support from the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Brazil, we conducted an extensive review of the UK's approach to impact assessment, with a particular focus on the ways in which the Department of Energy and Climate Change appraises and evaluates its policies and programmes. We reviewed international best practice, using the United States, Australia and the Netherlands as comparators, and drawing from best practice across the four examples, tailored an implementation strategy that was appropriate to the Brazilian context.
To support the strategy, we wrote a detailed impact assessment guidebook, to lead practitioners through each step of appraisal, consultation, cost-benefit analysis, and options selection, as well as post-implementation evaluation and review. To make it practical, we supported the guidebook with a series of checklists to give practitioners confidence that they'd been thorough in their analysis.
Thank you very much for the excellent report. You managed to capture very well the Brazilian context and provide very objective recommendations. The write-up is clear and to the point.
The project finished with a two-day training workshop at EPE headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, where EPE staff learned how to appraise and evaluate relevant policies. EPE now plans to pilot impact assessment with a priority energy-related policy challenge with a view to rolling it out more widely as demand from relevant government ministries to appraise and evaluate energy policy grows.