Digital appraisal manual for Scotland: guidance

Guidance to help embed best practice appraisal and evaluation within policy making relating to digital projects.

When to use

It is intended that this guidance be applied to investments, problems and opportunities relating to investment in digital – generally referred to as ‘digital projects’ in this guidance. Digital projects relate to digital connectivity and infrastructure, digital skills and adoption, and digital participation. The guidance is intended to aid identification of options and addressing of supposed problems. This covers a wide range of possible schemes. The guidance should be applied:

  • to identify options to address supposed problems or opportunities relating to digital projects – for example infrastructure, participation or skills in Scotland
  • when government funding, support or approval is required for a proposed digital intervention (policies/programmes/projects)
  • should not be used for issues relating to maintenance or renewal of existing interventions (with no significant change) that have already been appraised
  • DAMS should be applied to issues such as:
    • broadband/ mobile infrastructure improvements/upgrades e.g. superfast, gigabit-capable
    • increasing connectivity, installation of new infrastructure, e.g. 5G
    • enhancing international or terrestrial (backhaul) connectivity
    • increased digital participation by supplying laptops to schoolchildren
    • vouchers for broadband provision for low income families
    • digital skills investments
    • government funding to support digital adoption, whether in business or general population

Digital interventions may cut across other policy areas (e.g. transport, education, health) so relevant processes in these areas should also be considered during digital appraisal.


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