Poverty Impact Assessment - Frequently Asked Questions

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1. What is PIA?

PIA is the process by which Government Departments, Local Authorities and State Agencies assess policies and programmes at design, implementation and review stages in relation to the likely impact that they will have or have had on poverty and on inequalities which are likely to lead to poverty, with a view to poverty reduction.

2. In what circumstances should a PIA be performed?

PIA should be carried out at every stage at which significant policy proposals or changes are being considered, including where a pre-existing policy is being evaluated with a view to possible change. PIA should not be considered as something to be done after a decision has been made but rather as an inherent part of the policy development and decision making process.

3. Does PIA apply to all areas of Government?

Yes, PIA applies in all areas.

4. Who should carry out the PIA?

The area in which the policy or programme is being developed should perform its own PIA.

5. Where can I find examples of PIA?

Completed worked examples of PIA’s can be found on www.welfare.ie .

6. Where can I download the PIA Template?

The PIA template for completing a successful PIA can be downloaded from www.welfare.ie

7. With regard to the Poverty Impact Assessment consultancy process, in general, who is involved?

See page 18 of the Guidelines.

8. How are vulnerable groups to be considered when performing a PIA?

The structure of PIA (as outlined in the PIA Screening Template) lists the different Groups and in this way they can be more easily identified.

9. What are the Steps involved in a “Full” PIA?

These are the 7 Steps:
  • Step 1: Consultation (New – not in Poverty Proofing)
  • Step 2: Define Policy Aims and Target Groups
  • Step 3: Identify Available Data and Research
  • Step 4: Assess Impacts and Consider Alternatives
  • Step 5: Make Decision and Arrange Monitoring (New)
  • Step 6: Publish Results (New)
  • Step 7: Return Summary Sheet (New)

10. How much does a poverty impact assessment influence the implementation of a policy?

The Social Inclusion Division in the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has an important role in promoting the PIA process and providing guidelines on its website. However, it is the responsibility of different Departments to decide whether the results of the PIA will inform the implementation of a policy.
Last modified:13/03/2013