An impact strategy is anchored by its “change statement.” This is an articulation of what the impact of your assessment should be. What should be changed or done differently as a direct result of the assessment? This first step will be the most challenging: to articulate clearly what the leaders and participants of the assessment would like to see happen as a result of your IEA. Although your government may mandate assessments, it is important to look beyond the simple requirement to undertake the assessment, and consider how the assessment might lead to changes or improvements in sustainable development policy and planning.
For those conducting an IEA for the first time, it may be difficult at this point to state what the issues are that need to be influenced. The change statement may be fairly broad, focused primarily on getting people in positions of authority to actively use your report. For example:
- Key departmental decision-makers will use the information gathered during the assessment to develop policy priorities, departmental strategic plans and budgets.
- State, as well as national, level planners will review the findings of the assessment, and prepare internal policy briefs on how they will address the recommendations of the assessment.
Remember that an important part of the IEA process is a scan of issue and policy priorities. In the context of any given priority issue to be reported, major policy mechanisms that could or should be influenced can also be identified.
The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper planning and implementation process is adjusted to increase attention to environmental degradation, protection and rehabilitation, based on the findings of the assessment.
An impact strategy is a dynamic process. The change statement may start off fairly broad or general, but as more data become available and analysis is carried out, the change statement can be revisited and refined. During this training session, when you learn more in Modules 4 and 5 about data and analysis, you may wish to reconsider how you have framed the change statements you will prepare in the next section of this module. Based on the findings of previous assessments, or on the new data being analysed, you may wish to focus on one key priority that you want your findings to inform and address, e.g.:
The government institutes a national watershed management plan that takes into consideration the responsibilities and capacities of villagers to protect and rehabilitate their water sources.
You can still reach out to broader audiences to inform and engage them in the report findings. Impact in this context may be an aggregate of actions that individuals may take in response to the report. But there may be little that they can do on a personal level. The impact strategy will help you work towards leveraging real policy change on a key issue.
See Exercise 188.8.131.52 ...