WIFAS – The Assessment of social impacts of funding programmes that support research in the mobility of people and goods

The aim of this study is to develop a conceptually and empirically sound model to capture the social effects and/or impacts caused by subsidy programmes –Thus, by working out appropriated indicators and by conceiving a rating system which is suitable for the analysis of a variety of impact dimensions, with special emphasis on ecological effects.

Short Description

Starting point / motivation

We can observe an increasing importance of the assessment of impacts of RDTI subsidy programmes over the years. Because of the rising need for legitimacy of spending public money, policy makers have been asking for more impact assessments as a basis for evidence-based policy making. This has now resulted in a new approach for handling public finances, which is subsumed under the heading of „impact-oriented management of public finances".

The probably least developed dimensions are the social impacts of RDTI programmes, e.g. concerning the subjects "passenger mobility" and "freight mobility" in the portfolio of the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (bmvit). These are direct effects like the accessibility of the transport system or ensuring the provision of goods and services, and more indirect effects like social cohesion or common use of transport facilities.

Since such concepts have been discussed in international scientific communities but are not much developed, this study can realise an essential contribution to the further development of impact-assessment models.

Contents and goals

This study aimed to develop a conceptually and empirically sound model to capture the social effects and/or impacts caused by mobility research programmes. The following questions had to be answered in the project:

  • Which relevant social effects and/or impacts are caused by mobility research programmes?
  • Which methods and indicators can be used to represent those social effects?
  • What are appropriate boundaries for the model, i. e. for the contribution by the RTDI programmes?

Methods

Starting from the state of the art of assessing social effects in different research disciplines, the study not only aimed to develop the conceptual model for the specific policy purpose, but also the appropriate methodological tools, indicators, and an overview of relevant databases to be incorporated. This whole set of outputs needed to be validated by a representative part of the research community and/or experts in the field. Thus providing a basis for the impact assessment of similar RTDI programmes.

The suitability of this model was tested by means of selected studies, which were already completed or ongoing in the fields of personal mobility and freight mobility in the program "Mobility of the Future".

Results and Conclusions

The empirically validated model, including a definition of indicators and methods to be used, does not only contribute to the conceptually under researched question of how to assess social impacts of mobility programmes, but also enables stakeholders to draw lessons for future programme design. This is especially true for mobility research, but it should also be possible for RTDI programmes in general.

This study aims to develop a conceptually and empirically Sound model to capture the social effects and/or impacts caused by subsidy programmes to advance mobility research. Furthermore it is a main goal to improve the program "Mobility of the Future" by use of the achieved findings and recommendations, in order to obtain better output.

Publications

WIFAS - The Assessment of social impacts of funding programmes that support research in the mobility of people and goods

The aim of the WIFAS study is to develop a conceptually and empirically sound model to capture the social effects and/or impacts caused by subsidy programmes –Thus, by working out appropriated indicators and by conceiving a rating system which is suitable fort he analysis of a variety of impact dimensions, with special emphasis on ecological effects. Mag. Peter Kaufmann, Laurenz Wolf, MSc, Mag. Alex Schubert, Dr. Alexander Neumann, Publisher: bmvit
German, 154 Seiten

Publication Downloads

Project Partners

Dr. Sonja Sheikh - KMU Forschung Austria Austrian Institute for SME Research

Contact Address

KMU Forschung Austria Austrian Institute for SME Research
Dr. Sonja Sheikh
Tel.: +43 (1) 5059761
E-mail: s.sheikh@kmuforschung.ac.at

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