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Social and economic

An in-depth understanding of the economic and social benefits of project and policy interventions is clearly crucial to public and private sector clients. Our experts assist evidence-based decision making, ensuring that analyses are robust, reliable and relevant.

Our expertise in economics, economic research and development and urban planning is being applied in various countries.

Economic research

Our expertise in economics, economic research and development and urban planning is being applied in various countries. Our project portfolio covers sectors such as road and rail infrastructure, health service reconfiguration, aviation, digital infrastructure, urban development, environment and climate change, tourism and leisure and education.

Calculating impacts on communities

Economic impact data is essential for appraising or prioritising project proposals, bidding for funding, or allocating funds. We developed the transparent economic assessment model (TEAM) to deliver fast and credible monetised values for any scheme’s impact on jobs, income and other variables. For example, we calculated that a new UK road would deliver 5230 jobs and £1bn gross value added over 30 years.

This automated, spreadsheet-based tool is calibrated for local economic geography. It can also be used for scenario testing if there is uncertainty about a project site. TEAM is populated with project data, economic data including salary rates, our own derived data such as gross value added per worker and a set of custom formulas. The calculations are consistent, transparent and compliant with UK Government project appraisal guidance, so the resulting business case is open and defensible.

We’ve used TEAM to assess project proposals across countries such as the UAE, Kenya and the USA. TEAM provides comprehensive and credible business case insight for decision makers to maximise the value of project investments worldwide.

Evidenced value

We've worked for a vast range of clients over the years. We're retained as advisors on local economic development for the Local Government Association. This involves delivering local economic development workshops in different parts of the UK aimed at the facilitation of peer-to-peer learning with local authority officers. We've also produced research papers on the transition to Local Enterprise Partnerships and the role of transport, finance and skills in local economic development.

We've undertaken extensive work on the resources available for economic development in a time of austerity. Our team has offered advice on the relative merits of new funding mechanisms applied directly to site appraisal and analysis, for example. Working with developers and public sector sponsors, we assess the relative merits of funding streams, taxation and borrowing powers to maximise growth and return on investment.

Social research

Understanding the effects of policies, projects, and programmes on individuals, communities, societies and service users has become a central element of the project life cycle. More than ever before, the evidence underpinning the decision-making process is an essential element of project development.

Our expertise covers multiple disciplines across a range of sectors and we work with public and private clients to understand the social effects of their proposals on the wider community. Our social research experts help clients:

  • Highlight and maximise the potential positive effects of their projects
  • Identify practical steps to tackle negative effects and unintended discrimination
  • Evidence how, when and where they have considered the relevant policy drivers
  • Minimise commercial, reputational and legal risk
  • Prevent costly delays as result of challenges related to legislation
  • Win support by involving local people and stakeholders in development and decision-making processes

Evidenced value

Based on these principles, we have developed a strong track record in:

  • Research, intelligence and policy appraisal for various UK Government departments and agencies
  • Community and stakeholder engagement and public consultation on a range of urban development projects
  • Socio-demographic data analysis and geographical information systems for public sector clients, including a number of key data management frameworks
  • Socio-economic and community impact assessments of transport schemes, including major road and rail infrastructure projects and proposed changes to existing network infrastructure
  • Equality impact assessments of policy proposals and strategies
  • Health impact assessments for major transport and power infrastructure projects
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