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Poverty Impact Assessment (PIA)

Poverty Impact Assessment is the process by which government departments, local authorities and State Agencies assess policies and programmes at design, implementation and review stages in relation to the likely impact that they will have or have had on poverty and on inequalities which are likely to lead to poverty, with a view to poverty reduction.

Poverty Proofing, as Poverty Impact Assessment was formerly known, was introduced in 1998 as a result of a commitment in the original National Anti-Poverty Strategy. This commitment was strengthened further when it became a requirement in the Cabinet Handbook that Memoranda for the Government involving significant policy proposals “indicate clearly the impact of the proposal on groups in poverty or at risk of falling into poverty”.  In addition the concept of Poverty Impact Assessment is fully embedded in the Regulatory Impact Assessment process which is carried out on a mandatory basis on particular policy proposals. The responsibility to undertake a poverty impact assessment falls to the relevant government department that is developing/reviewing the policy. The outcomes of the poverty income assessments are generally published except in circumstances where a particular policy initiative is part of the deliberative process of government or subject to cabinet confidentiality rules. 

Comments and suggestions on the Poverty Impact Assessment process very welcome and can be sent to the Social Inclusion Division at

Below are links to the guidelines for Poverty Impact Assessment including recently drafted guidelines for completing a Poverty Impact Assessment for local authorities.  Links are also provided to the poverty impact assessment template which will provide assistance in carrying out a PIA and also some frequently asked questions on PIA. There is also a link available to a selection of worked examples of Poverty Impact Assessments performed by various government departments.



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Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, Goldsmith House, Pearse Street, Dublin 2, Ireland. D02 YY17
An Roinn Gnóthaí Fostaíochta agus Coimirce Sóisialaí, Teach Goldsmith, Sráid an Phiarsaigh, Baile Átha Cliath 2, Éire. D02 YY17


Tel: + 353 1 7043968


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