Non-market values and Benefit Transfer (IRP2-WP2)
This work package developed a Value Tool consisting of a comprehensive database of existing non market values and some market values of water sensitive systems and practices that will be used to underpin various benefit-transfer methods. A set of guidelines have been developed to assist the user. The Value Tool is part of a broader package of economic tools and resources, known as INFFEWS (Investment Framework For Economics of Water Sensitive cities). Another component of INFFEWS is the Benefit: Cost Analysis (BCA) Tool, which is tailored to assess investments for water-sensitive cities. The BCA tool is intended to support balanced and systematic decision making about these investments, and to provide evidence for use in business cases.
For an outline of the features and flexibility of INFFEWS Value Tool, download the Industry Note: Industry Note:INFFEWS Value Tool
At the beginning of IRP2, we carried out an extensive review of existing studies that have published estimates of the intangible benefits due to the use of water sensitive systems and practices. More than 180 studies were reviewed. This was a starting point to develop the INFFEWS Value Tool. A report on the findings is available to download: Review of non-market values of water sensitive systems and practices: An update
INFFEWS Value Tool - a collection of non market and market values of water sensitive systems and practices
We custom-built an excel-based database with dollar values from Australian studies and arranged these in a way that allows them to be easily and efficiently accessed. Wide consultation with the project steering committee and non market value experts was undertaken on the design and functionality of this database, ensuring that it would be easy to maintain into the future. Some original non market valuation studies have been conducted as part of the IRP2 case studies to test the tools and framework. The database will be continuously updated as new information is generated. Training on the INFFEWS Value Tool have been delivered in all participating capital cities.
INFFEWS Value Tool: Guidelines - key concepts and instructions behind using the tool
It is not always possible or appropriate to conduct original non-market valuation studies. Benefit transfer is the systematic extrapolation of existing non-market valuation results to new contexts. Its main attraction is that it saves on cost, relative to conducting original studies for every case where a decision is needed. Using benefit transfer methods, findings (values, functions) from the original study site are transferred to the site where benefits need to be calculated. If carefully conducted, benefit transfers have the potential to provide a reasonable approximation of the value for situations that lack an original non-market valuation study. There are different methods to conduct benefit transfer: meta-analysis, function transfer and unit value (means) transfer. Each of these methods have their strengths and weaknesses.
With existing close links and collaborations with some of the world experts in these methods, including Prof Rob Johnston from Clark University, USA; Prof Peter Boxall from University of Alberta; and Prof John Rolfe from Central Queensland University, we have developed accessible guidelines for end users on how to conduct benefit transfer for water sensitive practices, including choosing appropriate methods for the particular context.
These Guidelines should be read in advance of using the Value Tool and conducting benefit transfer, and are now available to the public. INFFEWS Value Tool Guidelines.
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