TRANSFORUM, Recommendations on Tools for Policy Impact Appraisal

TRANSFORUM, Recommendations on Tools for Policy Impact Appraisal


J van der Waard, AVV, Transport Research Centre, NL; A Tuominen, VTT, FI; P Eijkelenberg, TNO, NL; H van der Loop, KiM, Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analyses, NL


TRANSFORUM brought together policy-makers and scientists to assess the ?fitness for purpose? of EU transport policy appraisal methods in the changing policy environment. The recommendations based on this assessment are presented.


Over the last three years TRANSFORUM has brought together policy-makers, analysts and developers of policy impact appraisal tools to assess the state-of-the-art in transport policy evaluation methods and their ?fitness for purpose? in the changing policy environment.

The policy environment is changing due to different developments, like globalisation, the rising importance of the knowledge economy and high energy prices. Such developments have a major impact on Europe and its citizens. Their supra-national effects, such as the impacts of increasing mobility of people and goods, require initiatives at European level. The European Commission, in particular, plays a significant role in this respect. Interest cuts across departments and policy-issues, such as the renewed Lisbon Strategy on Growth and Jobs. Europe needs to keep its transport policy-making process targeted at tackling the challenges. This requires a constant search for appropriate improvements in methods of policy impact appraisal.

TRANSFORUM has taken up the challenge of facilitating this ?search? by organising several Forum meeting in which scientists, policy analysts, policy makers and other stake holders from several European countries were actively involved in the assessment process. Thanks to this approach, the project has resulted in several recommendations aimed at improving the ?fitness-for-purpose? for future policy impact appraisal. The focus of these recommendations is on improvements in the whole chain of transport policy impact appraisal and they can be considered relevant for all those involved in assessing the impacts of transport policies. The recommendations address issues such as definitions and indicators used, transport modelling and supporting transport analysis tools and also include suggestions for further research on these topics. Some of these recommendations are briefly mentioned below. The paper will elaborate on all of our recommendations.

With regards to definitions and indicators, we recommend the use of one common set of indicators for transport policy appraisal and present a first proposal for such a set, derived from a systematic analyses of EC policy objectives.
A basic, very important recommendation regarding transport models is that the models should first and foremost be developed based on the user?s information needs. In order to make policy-makers present and future needs more clear, we recommend that roadmaps for model development should be drawn up and refined in joint cooperation by policy makers and researchers, in order to have a joint and consistent agenda for future research and development. Based on the assessment of two decades of EU transport modelling research, it is recommended to use the TRANS-TOOLS model development as the starting point for recommended discussions on incorporating multiple-actor user needs.
On the more general issue of transport policy appraisal, we recommend that, in order to have more impact on policy development and implementation, the results of policy research projects should be presented in a form that is simple, concise and clearly communicating the key issues. In relation to transport models, we recommend to enhance the efficiency of post processing in order to make model behaviour and results understandable for a wider audience. We also recommend that stakeholders participation should be a basic element within European transport research projects. Mixing theoretical and practical knowledge and people (i.e. researchers and civil servants) within the research projects may give the research results a great advantage in their implementation phase. We therefore recommend the establishment of innovation networks targeting at co-operative mutual learning of researchers and civil servants as an essential task for the future. Certain elements of the methodology used in the TRANSFORUM project, to bring together people from different disciplines and regional origins, could be applied in this process.

In the paper, a short description of methodology used in the TRANSFORUM project is presented, but the main focus will be on all of our formulated recommendations, which will be presented in detail.


Association for European Transport