The objective of this paper is to contribute to improved practice and impact of foresight through the development and testing of a Foresight Impact Evaluation Schema. The schema is designed to guide foresight practitioners in the more effective design and conduct of foresight exercises to optimise impact.
The development of the schema is based on the significant previous work in this field, and the author's experience of designing and managing more than 100 foresight projects. It also takes into account accumulated experience with heuristics developed to guide foresight design and management, and with various approaches to evaluating the impact of social science knowledge on policy‐ and decision‐making.
A range of impacts identified from major foresight projects have been characterised according to four categories of impact ‐ awareness raising, informing policy, enabling greater capacity to address uncertainty, and influencing policy, strategy, investment, program delivery and public attitudes.
The schema needs to be tested against a variety of foresight projects to further refine its usefulness.
With the rapid growth of the application of foresight, it has become essential to guide practitioners in the appropriate design and management of all the processes associated with foresight to achieve maximum impact, and to demonstrate the value of the investment in foresight to consequent policy and planning.
This paper builds on earlier and contemporary work to develop a more refined and applicable schema to guide foresight impact evaluation.
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