Objective: Test the projects against relevant criteria.

When developing strategic options, the city will come up with a long list of potential projects. This tool is used when prioritizing and choosing project from this long list.

The CDS team, members of the planning team, supported by members of municipal departments, the mayor and city council representatives, as well as thematic stakeholders’ working groups

  1. Municipal departments – responsible for project implementation
  2. Project beneficiaries – community residents, other stakeholders’ groups, etc.

An impact analysis looks at the wider impact of the project if the plan is implemented. Economic feasibility is part of impact analysis. It has a broader view than financial analysis.

Other aspects of impact include impact on the environment, impact on the job market or impact on social situation.

The actors using the tool will use the table to stimulate discussion on the shorter and longer term impacts of the projects in economic, social, political, environmental and cultural terms. Rating these impacts, makes perceptions during the discussion explicit and is effective in communicating with the municipality these perceptions.

Step 1: With the planning team review each potential strategy against the main headings in table 1 (see worksheet). Discuss both the short term impact (up to five years), and the longer term (20 years plus) impacts with the team and rate as to whether the impact is likely to be positive, unclear or negative.  For these discussions it is preferable to be able to refer to properly executed impact analysis but if these do not exist it is still important to discuss, and where considered important or legally necessary then a proper study should be organized as an input.


  1. This tool allows for a rapid appraisal of the situation.
  2. It sets in motion the idea of discussing impact from different perspectives and makes these explicit.


  1. It can lead to over-simplification of complex realities, if the analysis is not done well or good data is not available.

This tool is linked to the linkage analysis tool and the GAM (Goal Achievement Matrix), as they all are complementary tools for project prioritization.

Generally accessible documents:

UN Habit (1991) Guide for managing change for urban managers and trainers, Nairobi, United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat).

Material for this note is adapted from this. 

Impact assessment rules, such as environmental impact assessment, differ between countries. It is important to check local regulations.

Other areas include social impact assessment and resilience assessment.