Infrastructure investment plan 2021-2022 to 2025-2026 - draft: consultation analysis

Independent analysis of consultation responses to the Scottish Government's Draft Infrastructure Investment Plan 2021-22 to 2025-26. The consultation ran from 24 September 2020 to 19 November 2020.

Annex C - Existing Tools or Methodologies

Question 3c

Are there existing tools or methodologies you are aware of which you think the Scottish Government could draw on or adopt in developing its framework? You may wish to draw on examples from other countries in your response.


  • A few respondents suggested that Denmark and the Netherlands have developed a national nature network approach, improving connectivity for species and habitats, and supporting the delivery of ecosystem services. They also pointed to relevant research into approaches that capture people's sense of satisfaction with a place and wellbeing.
  • Similarly, a few referred to Doughnut Economics (Kate Raworth) - a visual framework for sustainable development – shaped like a doughnut or lifebelt – combining the concepts of social and planetary boundaries. As well as the Amsterdam City Doughnut.
  • A few respondents also identified approaches that have been adopted in Australia and New Zealand. For example, the following are mentioned:
    • Regional visions for infrastructure across all sectors: (e.g. NSW State Infrastructure Strategy 2018/2038 sets out the NSW Government's infrastructure vision for the state over the next 20 years, across all sectors. It is underpinned by aligned regional strategies, plans and frameworks for the individual sectors (e.g. Future Transport Strategy 2056, Greater Sydney Region Plan, Regional Development Framework).
    • Making Sydney Brilliant – A Manifesto for Sydney at 8 Million People.
    • New Zealand Infrastructure Commission – Statement of Performance Expectations (1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020).
  • A couple of respondents (Campaign Responses) mentioned The World Bank - An Alternative Approach to Project Selection: The Infrastructure Prioritization Framework (April 2016).
  • UN Global Marketplace Sustainable Procurement Indicators.
  • Convention on Biological Diversity – Mainstreaming of Biodiversity in the Infrastructure Sector (July 2018).
  • World Health Organization (WHO) - Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT) for Cycling and Walking.
  • European Commission - Natural Capital Accounting, and Environmental Assessment.
  • European Union, Interreg – Manual of Green Infrastructure Functionality Assessment: Decision Support Tool (February 2020).
  • Universal Basic Infrastructure (UBI) e.g. Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Paris.
  • US Department of Agriculture's 'Assessment of Ecosystem Services' tool, (i-Tree) – this offers quantitative valuation of environmental services performed (i.e. by forestry).

UK and Republic of Ireland

The first eight bullet points below are referenced within a few consultation responses (all others are individual points).

  • UK Government guidance on Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis - is used to prioritise actions with impacts on a wide variety of factors, not all of which can be quantified. Further, guidance on Enabling a Natural Capital Approach (ENCA).
  • Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (and partners) briefing and good practice principles on Biodiversity Net Gain - an approach which aims to leave the natural environment in a measurably better state than beforehand.
  • The Mersey Forest on behalf of Natural Economy Northwest - The economic benefits of Green Infrastructure: The public and business case for investing in Green Infrastructure and a review of the underpinning evidence (2008). As well as wider information on climate change and green infrastructure planning.
  • Susdrain - CIRIA SuDS Manual C753 and the Benefits of SuDS Tool (B£ST) - the framework prioritises making best use of existing assets before building new.
  • Republic of Ireland's National Spatial Plan is tied in with a capital investment programme, and its Investment Projects and Programmes accompanying their National Development Plan.
  • Construction Innovation Hubs - An Introduction To The Value Toolkit (July 2020).
  • Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - Measuring environmental change: outcome indicator framework for the 25 Year Environment Plan (May 2019). And work to develop the Eco-metric Approach.
  • HMT Green Book Methodology and approach, the principles of which underpin much of the current business case development. This is currently under review to explore how it can better evaluate the "levelling up" inclusive growth impacts of investments.
  • The Five Capitals Model - provides a basis for understanding sustainability in terms of the economic concept of wealth creation or 'capital' (i.e. Natural, Human, Social, Manufactured, Financial).
  • Campaign to Protect Rural England commissioned research The Impact of Road Projects in England - Transport for Quality of Life that might provide ideas for the types of metrics and their measurement (e.g. mitigation/ compensation planting and maintenance).
  • Biodiversity Metric of Natural England - presents an example of a method for assessing impacts on biodiversity and calculating desired gain (final version due to be published in early 2021).
  • Climate Change Committee - six key principles for a resilient recovery.
  • Institution of Civil Engineers - Maximising Social Value from Infrastructure Projects.
  • The Land Use Planning System.
  • Centre for Economic Performance – Occasional Paper - When to release the lockdown: A wellbeing framework for analysing costs and benefits (April 2020) - this looks at a wellbeing framework for analysing costs and benefits (wellbeing years).
  • Highways England - produce a "post-opening project evaluation" survey of all road schemes 1 and 5 years after completion. Recent academic research into national planning schemes in England has also used a range of post project assessments to test and evaluate pre- project benefits and predictions against actual benefits and outcomes
  • The RSA – Pride in Place, The RSA Heritage Index 2020 – among other things features a placed-based case study on Dundee.
  • Transport Planning Society (TPS) – State of the Nations: Transport Planning for a Sustainable Future (October 2020).
  • University of Manchester - GRaBS Adaptation Action Planning Toolkit: Planning for a Changing Climate Across Europe.
  • Office of National Statistics (ONS) – Principles of Natural Capital Accounting - a background paper for those wanting to understand the concepts and methodology underlying the UK Natural Capital accounts being developed by ONS and Defra (February 2017).
  • Town and Country Planning Association - Green Infrastructure Resource Library.
  • Natural Capital Committee (NCC) - The Green Book guidance: embedding natural capital into public policy appraisal (November 2020 Update).


Existing Scottish Government frameworks, tools or methodologies are most commonly mentioned.

  • Scottish Government sector or place specific guidance, frameworks, tools, legislation, and datasets:
    • Scottish Transport Appraisal Guidance (Scot-TAG) - transport appraisal mechanism and guidance that also includes environment, safety, integration, and accessibility and social inclusion as factors considered in the appraisal process.
    • Scottish Capital Investment Manual (SCIM) that underpins health capital planning across NHS Scotland.
    • National Performance Framework.
    • Place Standard Tool.
    • Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation.
    • Preparing Scotland: Resilience Guidance.
    • Environmental assessment under the Environment Assessment (Scotland) Act 2005.
    • School estates: suitability reporting core facts (could be extended to cover all infrastructure).
  • Scotland's Centre for Regional Inclusive Growth Inclusive Growth Outcomes Framework.
  • Public Health Scotland - health and wellbeing outcomes, as well as Health Impact Assessment: a guide for local authorities (August 2006).
  • Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband Review – used methodologies to better understand the relative benefits of investment across various infrastructures (e.g. digital, road, rail) to allow the best informed decisions about where and how to deploy limited budgets.
  • Scottish Land Commission - work around the role of Public Interest Led Development (e.g. points towards the multiple supports required through funding, commitment and skill, as well the need for the public sector to take a 'first mover' role).
  • Work being undertaken by the Scottish Futures Trust on improving current asset management practices.
  • Risk based approaches are being developed as per the Well-managed Highway Infrastructure guidance and the SCOTS Roads Asset Management project that is applicable to all local authorities in Scotland.
  • Infrastructure Commission for Scotland's Phase 2 Report (Appendix G) - which highlights international organisations and governments work in developing infrastructure plans, and that identifies at a high level the various appraisal and prioritisation which would be worthwhile to review.
  • Draw on data and methodologies from the energy generation companies, to provide an estimate of anticipated new demand on the electricity grid as greater dependency on the network is mapped out for the IIP.
  • Lankelly Chase and The Robertson Trust – Hard Edges Scotland Report June 2009).
  • Adaptation Scotland - Five steps to managing your climate risks: A Guide for Public Bodies in Scotland (December 2013).
  • The Energy Networks Association has recently commissioned work to develop a common Whole System Cost Benefit Assessment methodology and model to enable effective whole system decision making. It is anticipated that the model will be available for third parties (e.g. national and local government) to use.


  • Edinburgh City Centre Transformation Programme uses wellbeing diagnostics to guide where outcomes could be maximized through infrastructure intervention.
  • Climate Ready Clyde - Glasgow City Region's first Climate Adaptation Strategy provides information on infrastructure and economic modelling.
  • HIE's Towards Inclusive Growth project aims to support decision making and measurement through understanding more clearly the relative impact an investment has on inclusive growth in different locations (e.g. weighting of measures could address the inequality that can arise from unfair comparisons of urban versus rural investments).
  • Local Energy Action Plans (Scottish Local Authorities).
  • Open Spaces Strategies.
  • National Park Partnership Plans (and the associated Regional Spatial Strategies) could help provide appropriate spatial component.
  • Island Communities Impact Assessment.
  • Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) and Dundee City Council have agreed to partner on the Regional Energy System Optimisation Planning (RESOP) Project, to develop a tool that will support Dundee's green economic recovery and its net zero ambitions.

Further, a number of consultation respondents went on to identify their own organisation's evidence base to inform further thinking for the Scottish Government framework. This includes:

  • The Scottish Enterprise Strategic Board's Analytical Unit have developed a logic model for the Skills and Enterprise agencies to unlock opportunities and address challenges through effective collaborative working.
  • Woodland Trust Scotland Standard in our Space for People report has methodology which can be used to assess the provision of accessible woodlands close to where people live.
  • BT's 3:1 ambition – ambition and methodology for managing material social and environmental issues (e.g. carbon reduction).
  • Perth and Kinross Council Sustainability Checklist and Integrated Appraisal Toolkit.
  • Historic Environment Scotland and partners – Asset Management Plan and other guidance documents. Plus wider documents linked to The Our Place In Time (OPiT) Climate Change working group. This includes a Guide to Climate Change Impacts on Scotland's Historic Environment (October 2019), and ongoing development work on a new Built Heritage Plan for Scotland (due to be published by Spring 2021) has been informed by Sustainable Investment Toolkit that aims to help prioritise and clearly communicate decision-making by demonstrating the economic, cultural, environmental and social outcomes of potential investment in built heritage. Further, the OPiT Built Heritage Group has developed a Sustainable Investment Toolkit.
  • Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) and HACT[7] have published a social value toolkit for Scotland that gives housing associations and co-operatives the practical resources they need to measure, demonstrate and increase the social value impact of their work in communities (October 2020).



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