Appraisal and Evaluation

Supporting better investment and policy decisions


Cost-benefit analysis // Cost-effectiveness analysis // Social impact analysis

Through this service, we can help our clients answer questions like the following:

  • What is the best value for money for action?
  • Is inaction defensible?
  • Is the cost of implementing a regulation disproportionate?
Autumn colors in the forest

We provide practical support to clients through the whole decision cycle including setting objectives, screening options, and identifying, quantifying and comparing the costs and benefits of action against a business as usual or alternative future baselines. Our toolkit of appraisal and evaluation methods includes:

  • Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) which helps answer ‘should we do something about the issue in hand? And, if so, what should we do?'
  • Cost-Effectiveness Analysis (CEA) which identifies the option that is likely to generate the highest benefit per £, or alternatively, the least costly option. CEA is most useful when deciding how to deliver an agreed objective
  • Impact Assessment which incorporates other implementation related issues (e.g. competitiveness, effect on small businesses, equity etc.) as well as costs and benefits
  • Evaluation Framework which sets out the theory of change envisaged for an action and tests it through empirical evidence to identify outputs and outcomes

Many of our projects involve multidisciplinary inputs and we work with specialists in other disciplines to ensure that the changes we value are well understood and measured.

Our expertise is applicable to all environmental media and sectors and we have experience in:

  • Water and wastewater management – water company business plans and the Periodic Review process, accounting for social capital impacts of customer relations, water company customer engagement, implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive
  • Marine environment – designation of marine Natura 2000 sites, implementation of the EU Marine Strategic Framework Directive
  • Flood and coastal erosion risk management – environmental benefits of natural flood management options like managed realignment
  • Energy and air pollution – analysis of the impacts of marine renewable energy generation, impact of air pollution on human health and ways to reduce this
  • Infrastructure investments - customer research and cost benefit analysis for the Thames Tideway tunnel, local landscape and community impact of the High Speed 2 line

Some of our clients for this service include:

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra), Thames Water, European Commission, Welsh Government, Scottish Government, Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC), Environment Agency and Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF)

Contact Person: Allan Provins