Social Impact Assessment (SIA)

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Social impact assessment (SIA) is an evidence-based methodology which estimates the likely distributive effects of policies on household incomes, families, poverty and access to employment.

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection undertakes rigorous and extensive ex-ante and ex-post social impact assessments (SIA) of the main welfare and direct tax budgetary policies. This assessment uses a tax-welfare simulation model known as SWITCH, which was developed by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), to measure the distributive and poverty impacts of policies on family types, lifecycle groups and gender.

The Department has published an integrated SIA which includes the main welfare and direct tax measures in annual budgets, since Budget 2013. Its purpose is to inform public understanding on the cumulative effect of budgetary policies on income distribution and social equality. For some recent Examples of impact assessments conducted by the Department, see ‘Related Topics’ box on the right.

Responsibility for the analysis rests solely with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

Last modified:09/03/2016