Upon the completion of the course the students will be able to:
- differentiate among various tools for sustainability assessment and their role in policy decision-making;
- compare the approaches to indicators of sustainable development and draw implications of an indicator choice for public policy decisions;
- recognize the main principles of CBA and distinguish among various evaluation technique s;
- describe the essence of MCA and the role of stakeholders;
- critically analyze and apply their knowledge of CBA/MCA to real case studies.
Every public policy decision has positive and negative implications for the society, and requires assessment of these impacts. Policy-makers have various methods of sustainability assessment in their disposal. Many of available tools for public policy evaluation involve basic knowledge of the economic analysis. Depending on the goals, scope and scale of the analysis either Indicators of sustainable development, or Cost-Benefit or Multi-criteria Analysis can be employed. Three domains of sustainable development (environmental, social and economic) as well as concerns about climate change and intergenerational issues are reflected at different extent in each method. During this course you will get familiar with:
- common foundations of economic approaches to policy analysis;
- various indicators of sustainable development and their use in policy process;
- basics of cost-benefit analysis (CBA), including criteria for project profitability (net present value, internal rate of return), approaches to discounting and various economic techniques for valuation of non-market environmental goods and services;
- multi-criteria analysis (MCA) and stakeholders involvement;
- handling uncertainty in decision-making: example of economic tools for climate-change policy.
Pros and cons of each method as well as practical examples of their application will be discussed during the course.
Testing and assessment:
- Group: interim examination in the form of assignments and presentations (OPDR-PRES) – 30%
- Final assignment/paper (EINDOPDR) – 70%