The Social Inclusion Division in the Department of Social Protection has an important role in promoting the implementation of poverty and/or social impact assessments of significant policy proposals, with a view to poverty reduction.
Both processes seek to make clear in advance what the likely impact of policies might be on poverty and on the inequalities likely to lead to poverty.
Poverty Impact Assessment (formerly poverty proofing) is a requirement under the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion 2007-2016, the Revised Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) Guidelines 2009, and Sn 3.4 of the Cabinet Handbook for preparing Memos for Government.
Social impact assessment is an evidence-based methodology to estimate the likely distributive effects of policy proposals on income and social inequality. It uses a tax-welfare simulation model known as SWITCH to measure the distributive and poverty impacts, include the impact on family types, lifecycle groups and gender.
For some recent examples of impact assessments conducted by the Department, see 'Related Topics' box on the right.