Effective evaluation will help cities identify clean growth policies and determine their effectiveness
In October this year the Government published its Clean Growth Strategy, aimed at growing the national economy while cutting greenhouse gas emissions. These concerns were also at the heart of the Industrial Strategy launched last month, through which the Government hopes to increase productivity, improve business and industry efficiency and create good jobs, while protecting the climate and environment.
As city leaders put together local industrial strategies in the coming year, they will need to identify quickly which clean growth policies work best and are most appropriate for their places. However, there is little evaluation evidence available in this policy area, as measurement is not consistent in different places, and can often be biased by the need to demonstrate actions taken more than results achieved.
The answer to this problem is for local leaders to carry proper policy evaluation as they consider and implement clean growth policies. Whatever the outcomes, places can learn from each other as they experiment and learn from evidence on the experiences of other places. Robust evaluation has many advantages, from identifying what works, to ascertaining what works best to reach policy objectives.
Last year, the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth has published a series of blogs on how to evaluate. Four points stand out in particular when it comes to making the most of clean growth policies:
Evaluation is crucial in identifying which policy works best to achieve any outcome, at the best price and in the shortest time possible, especially when it comes to reducing emissions. A good policy needs to be recognised as such, but so does a bad policy.
In the coming year, as city leaders put together their local industrial strategies and consider which clean growth initiatives are right for their places, they need to put out robust evaluation at the heart of their plans. This will be crucial in ensuring they can deliver economic growth which protects – not harms – the environment.
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