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Pilot Impact Assessment Toolkit

As part of the integrative work of a cross-border observatory, the Centre is undertaking the development of a pilot Impact Assessment Toolkit (PIAT) for practical, mutually beneficial cross-border cooperation in Ireland. The pilot toolkit is intended to guide policy-makers and EU funders – and particularly the Special EU Programmes Body in Ireland – in thinking through the impact assessment process, assisting them in exploring the future consequences of cross-border programmes and projects. Impact assessment has been used particularly in the health and environmental sectors in Ireland, North and South, and widely in the European Union, but not until now in cross-border cooperation.

The proposed toolkit is breaking new ground in that it will offer an integrated process that takes into account social, economic and environmental impacts (the three ‘pillars’ of sustainable development), plus a fourth ‘administrative’ pillar that will identify impacts specific to cross-border cooperation in Ireland.  It will have two unique characteristics: it will be developed with the specific conditions of the Irish ‘cross border territory’ in mind, and it will focus on identifying the ‘added value’ of cross-border cooperation in Irish circumstances.

The project’s methodology involves the active participation of public officials and NGOs who are currently working in cross-border cooperation in Ireland, who take part in a series of workshops and training programmes. An initial analysis of the ‘core problems’ of cross-border cooperation in Ireland was carried out at a workshop in Newry in November 2010, and a second workshop took place in May 2011 in Dundalk at which a draft toolkit was presented and discussed.  Three cross-border projects have been selected in order to carry out a detailed impact assessment to test the toolkit’s implementation in summer 2011.  This will be followed by a three-day training course for cross-border practitioners in autumn 2011, and the toolkit will be published and launched in December 2011.

This project is being carried out by a team consisting of Centre for Cross Border Studies Deputy Director Ruth Taillon; the Director of the Euro-Institute in Kehl, Germany, Dr Joachim Beck, an advisor to the European Commission on cross-border cooperation and impact assessment; and, as research assistant, Sebastian Rihm, a postgraduate student of the Universities of Kehl and Ludwigsburg working as an intern in the Centre.

The project Steering Group is drawn from the Special EU Programmes Body, the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA), Cooperation Ireland, INCORE International Conflict Research Institute (University of Ulster), Pobal, Institute of Public Health in Ireland, Northern Ireland Commission for Victims and Survivors, International Centre for Local and Regional Development (ICLRD) and the Centre for Cross Border Studies.

Please find a copy of the toolkit below:

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