The entire ATAP Framework and its various components are aimed at the achievement of high level jurisdiction goals, transport (and land use) system objectives and the expressed targets associated with the objectives.
The question of whether these objectives and targets are being met is the driver of Step 7. This step of the Framework proposes a system of reviews (evaluations) that compare the expressed targets (i.e. preferred outcomes) with actual outcomes to judge how successful the initiative has been.
This process supports one of the key principles of the ATAP Framework: that there should be a culture of continuous learning and improvement to ensure that future decisions can take account of lessons from past experience. For this to occur, a process of reviews is required right across the Framework.
As the ATAP Framework chart shows (see the figure at the start of this Part), reviews should ideally occur after each individual step of the Framework - for example, reviews of:
- Transport planning processes
- Processes used in identifying and assessing problems and options, and whether the proposed initiatives actually reduced the problem(s) they were targeting
- Various types of analyses that are undertaken
- The entire life-cycle of initiatives
- The degree of achievement of transport system objectives and targets
- The entire ATAP Framework.
The following points on terminology should be noted:
- ‘Review’ and ‘evaluation’ are used here interchangeably. Both involve an assessment ‘after the event’, with specific consideration of how well actual outcomes match expected outcomes predicted ‘before the event’.
- ‘Evaluation’ and ‘post-completion evaluation’ are also assumed here to have the same meaning, with the term ‘post-completion evaluation’ used here in cases where practitioners are most likely to be currently using it.
- ‘Evaluation’ contrasts with ‘appraisal’, with the latter being assessment ‘before the event’.
- ‘Evaluation’ and ‘post-completion evaluation’ are broader than ‘benefits management’ and ‘benefits evaluation’. Evaluation provides learnings across multiple facets of an initiative. Benefits evaluation provides findings on benefits performance or outcomes achieved, which can be used to enhance an evaluation.