Poverty impact assessment (PIA)

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Poverty impact assessment (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.

Poverty proofing, as poverty impact assessment was formerly known, was introduced in 1998 as a commitment in the national anti-poverty strategy, and remains so in NAPinclusion.

This commitment was strengthened further when it became a requirement in the Cabinet Handbook that Government Memoranda involving significant policy proposals must “indicate clearly the impact of the proposal on groups in poverty or at risk of falling into poverty”. Poverty Impact Assessment is also fully embedded in the Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) process.

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of all departments and bodies developing policy to undertake a poverty impact assessment in adherence with official guidelines. The Guidelines for Poverty Impact Assessment 2008 and templates for process requirements are available for download .

The Social Inclusion Division provides assistance on the application of the PIA guidelines.

For further information, see responses to PIA here.

Last modified:29/02/2016