Policy Assessment Toolset
for equity and learning
Impact assessment in the context of ex ante policy evaluation
The conduct of impact assessment is considered as a useful step prior to the undertaking of a critical new policy initiative.
The performance of potential impact assessments prior to the introduction of a new legislation, strategy, programme etc., is also a formal requirement in government work
in many countries around the world. Impact assessments are also, for obvious reasons, important to perform after the full implementation of a policy initiative (ex-post evaluation).
As Podhora and his colleagues (2013) argue, research on impact assessment tools is scattered across different research communities.
In the absence of organized fora for sharing ideas and knowledge, it is difficult for policy-makers and school leaders to know the state of the art with regard to tool development.
However, there are some key analytical steps in performing impact assessment which are common in many different approaches.
The need for ex-ante small-scale pilot implementation of school leadership policy initiatives
Impact assessments prior to the introduction of a new school leadership initiative can be problematic from a methodological point of view. Prior international research
on school leadership can offer evidence on the potential impact of a specific policy intervention on schools, and particularly on issues of equity and learning achievement.
However, research on school leadership is still at its early stages in many European countries. This means that there is not enough body of solid scientific evidence to guide
informed decision-making in specific national or regional contexts.
Impact evaluation studies based on data obtained from ex-ante small-scale pilot versions of specific school leadership policy initiatives are therefore highly recommended.
Such context-sensitive data can then be used by cost-benefit or other types of ex-ante assessments to inform decision-making in specific national or regional contexts.