FD2019 - Developing an evidence base for improving appraisal guidance

Theme:Strategy and Policy Development
Project status:Completed
Start date:03/01/2006
End date:30/09/2006
  • Land,
  • Flood and Coastal Defence,
  • Flood Defence,
  • Environmental Protection,
  • Policy Development
  • Risk and Policy Analysts Ltd


The evidence shows that the existing guidance, although fulfilling a need in the past, is limited in scope, has not kept abreast of changes and which users do not find it particularly user friendly. The evidence has been presented by task, with accompanying appendices containing the raw evidence.
The reports will inform the further deliberations of Defra, the Agency and their advisory group and should not, in themselves, be taken as indicators of any specific change in current policy.



The study will identify the key areas that cause concerns in terms of the extent to which project appraisals provide the information that decision-makers, including the Environment Agency and Defra need to determine whether a project should proceed; the priority that that project should take; and common reasons why project appraisals may not give the `correct` answer. The study will build upon these finding to recommend ways that appraisal in flood and coastal risk mangement could be improved or enhanced.


The aim of the study as set out in the project specification is to:

a) explore the potential for improvements to the existing project appraisal guidance (Defra 1999-2001) to reflect the findings of the Foresight Study (OST 2004) and the direction of travel identified in the Government’s first response to the Making Space for Water (MSfW) consultation (Defra 2005).

The objective of the project is to:

b) develop evidence that will allow Defra and the operating authorities to improve guidance and thus assist practitioners make better decisions.

The scope of the work consists of a general review and gathering of feedback on the existing guidance, identification of suitable case studies (or other sources of information), analysis of key issues and scoping of potential improvements.