Ex-post tools: follow-up and evaluation in SEA

The MiSt Programme

The Ex Post Tools project addresses an important gap in research and practice of strategic tools, namely the application of appropriate tools for the follow-up and evaluation stage of assessments. The project will make a prescriptive analysis on application of tools for the follow-up and evaluation stage, i.e. tools for the ex post decision stages. The empirical analysis will be made on cases that represent follow-up and evaluation from both top-down and bottom-up perspectives. The focus of the empirical analysis will be on the regional level. The project has a set of intermediate objectives including to develop strategic evaluation criteria and guidance for measurable indicators connected to each criteria and to present a framework for bringing in and using readily available environmental data and statistics for analysing outcomes as a result of an intervention programme.

The project can be described as four main steps. The first step is to develop a theoretical review and an analytical framework for the empirical study including explicit theoretical and conceptual foundations within the different evaluation and assessment perspectives, and criteria for the analysis based on environmental and sustainable development strategies, policies and objectives set by the government. The second step is the empirical study, in which we examine two processes and their monitoring and evaluation processes that have been taken to date. The case studies will be selected based on an initial survey to match the requirements of strong and weak deliberative processes in the development of the programme, as well as the existence of evaluations from top-down and/or bottom-up perspectives. The precise case studies are yet to be decided, but initial scoping has been made in fields of energy programmes, industrial integrated product policies and regional development schemes. The third step is to evaluate the analyses and processes that have been made in the cases on the basis of the analytical framework developed in the first step. Strengths and weaknesses, theoretical paradigms, usefulness and relevance in relation to the sustainability evaluation criteria will be examined and discussed in detail.  The fourth step is to develop recommendations about combinations of tools for the user communities, primarily Naturvårdsverket and other relevant public sector agencies.

This project will fulfil two central aspects in the programme. First, the policy level adaptation of strategic tools. Many strategic tools, such as SEA has been developed primarily to function at the programme and plan levels, and applications at the policy level are relatively rare. Second, the follow-up and evaluation stage of assessment which has been largely neglected in previous SEA-related research and is also not addressed elsewhere in the programme. The project is also based on the same basic idea and objectives underpinning the full programme; namely the theoretical and conceptual clarification of different approaches; a reasoned examination of tool use and non-use in relation to the decision-making context, and a prescriptive analysis to aid Naturvårdverket and its collaborators in their operations.

Project leader is Måns Nilsson, SEI. Also participating are Hans Wiklund, Jönköping International Business School, and Göran Finnveden, Royal Institute of Technology/fms. The project will start in 2005

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