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4. Social and environmental analysis

Include analysis of social outcomes unless it is clear that external impacts are minimal. Social analysis is undertaken to ensure that social issues arising from a proposed investment are clearly identified and accounted for in the decision process.

  • An analysis of the social impacts of a proposal should:
    • identify any significant social issues or opportunities directly attributable to the proposal
    • identify the stakeholders involved
    • outline the nature and extent of the impact on each group or individual
    • develop strategies and options to capitalize on opportunities and manage negative issues.
  • Issues identified in this analysis should be stated clearly in the business case so that they are transparent to decision-makers and inform them of any policy implications, employment opportunities or community reactions to the proposed initiative.
  • The extent and nature of the social analysis element of the business case should reflect the scope of the social impacts.

An environmental analysis is required for all proposals to ensure that they meet all relevant legislative requirements and that likely community concerns are identified. Proposals should be consistent with government environmental policy.

The environmental analysis should assess:

  • the extent and nature of both on-site and off-site environmental consequences
  • the short and long-term environmental effects of the proposed initiative
  • opportunities to deliver environmental benefits from the proposed initiative (e.g. Through the incorporation of conservation and sustainability initiatives).

Where an assessment confirms areas of significant environmental concerns, possible intervention strategies and options should be developed to feasibly address these concerns. The costs and benefits associated with these strategies should be identified, valued or ranked, and then accounted for in the assessment of options.

Social and environmental impacts should be identified as either quantified (e.g. carbon emissions) or non-quantified (e.g. sense of security) as a different methodology will apply for integration into the economic and financial analysis

For some major proposals, a formal public interest test may be required. Public Interest may be addressed separately.

Further assistance is provided in chapter 7 of the Investment Evaluation (IE) policy and guidelines.

Use this section to document the social benefits of the proposal and options.

The section needs to demonstrate the total amount of benefits from the proposal and distinguish between options.

A useful approach would be to first descriptively address the social outcomes. The Infrastructure Planning and Delivery (IPD) branch IE case study categories remain relevant.

Impact on clients. Quality of patient care.
Patient, carer and visitor access.
Patient safety.
Travel times.
Patient or community health outcomes (consider availability, access to care).
Appropriateness of model of care.
Disruption to care.
Impact on provider Capacity to fulfil designated role.
Capacity to provide desired model of care.
Capacity to adapt to new practices or care models.
Efficiency of care, including flexibility of care, adaptability of infrastructure.
Management of risk, including regulatory compliance.
Staff working environment including OHS, security.
Impact on household Profile of service.
Community expectations.
Local amenity including noise, traffic.
Local planning, facilities.
Impact on business / industry Services at nearby facilities.
Private sector.
Impact on labour market Construction.
Impact on government Consistency with government policy
Impact on environment Consideration of environmental impact.

Factors relevant to distinguishing between options can then be evaluated in a tabular form for carry through to the economic and financial analysis.