As demonstrated in this review, appraisers of public sector investment projects do not simply search for efficient ways to deliver the goals set by policy-makers. They routinely make their own value judgements about project goals and the development process, both implicitly through the methodology applied and explicitly in their interpretation of the findings. Case studies in the use of cost-benefit and multi-criteria analysis and in the new tools of environmental assessment demonstrate that appraisal is least effective when it pretends to be value-free and resists attempts to explore its underlying assumptions. A robust assessment process should instead be transparent and defensible, allowing the values on which it is based to be identified and subject to scrutiny. This is particularly important when tackling the challenge of climate change. Given the scale of public spending commitments needed for delivering a low-carbon economy, appraisers must play a crucial role in ensuring that the non-monetised environmental elements of new investments are adequately assessed.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers: Urban Design and Planning|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2011|