Internationally, governments are under increasing pressure to ensure that their policy initiatives and spending proposals deliver good value to their citizens. Should taxpayers’ money be spent on a new railway line or a new sewage treatment plant? Is a light rail system preferable to an improved bus system? Should government approval be given to a new mining development? Or should the area proposed for mining be set aside as a nature protection area? These types of questions call for the rigorous assessment of proposals.
The provision of such rigorous assessments is challenging. The task involves predicting the future outcomes of proposed government actions and estimating the values held by citizens for those outcomes. Predicting the future involves risk and uncertainty. The impact of time on values needs to be incorporated. For some values, there are no markets working to deliver estimate.
The Executive Programme on Project and Policy Evaluation will provide insights into techniques developed to conduct the assessment task. Cost benefit analysis will be featured but additional and alternative evaluation methods will be detailed. A special feature of the Programme will be the introduction of methods used to estimate monetary values of outcomes that are not bought and sold in markets. Such value estimates are critical for the assessment of projects and policies that involve environmental and social outcomes.