In anticipation of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) becoming mandatory through the planning system in January 20241, Natural England (on behalf of Defra) have commissioned a consortium led by Eunomia Research & Consulting Ltd. to conduct a policy evaluation covering the initial period of policy implementation (2023-2025).
This evaluation plan, produced by Eunomia, sets out their plans for evaluating BNG. This includes three evaluation types:
- process evaluation, to understand the extent to which the policy is being implemented effectively;
- impact evaluation, to understand the extent to which the policy is achieving its stated outcomes, focussing specifically on the themes of; nature, planning and people; and
- value for money evaluation, to understand the extent to which the policy is a cost-effective means of delivering biodiversity gain.
The evaluation plan also includes the evaluation design, principles, questions, data collection and analysis methods, and a policy-level Theory of Change (ToC).
1 Please note that this report was authored prior to the announced delay in BNG roll-out from November 2023 to January 2024. The report therefore makes reference to the prior as the date at which BNG becomes mandatory, which is now incorrect.