Protocol development in assessment design

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Protocol development

If an assessment is deemed useful and feasible, then a detailed assessment protocol needs to be developed, setting out the scenario, data and methods to be applied. This not only helps the assessors, but also makes sure that the process is transparent, by providing an explicit and public document against which the final assessment can be compared.

The nature of this document will vary, depending on the issue and the type of assessment.

In most cases, however, it should give detailed specification of all of the following:

  • the study areas and populations that the assessment will cover;
  • the scenarios on which the assessment will be based;
  • the timescales (exposure periods, impact periods) to which the assessment will relate;
  • the causal factors, exposure pathways and health outcomes that will be assessed;
  • the health effects and associated impacts that will be included in the assessment;
  • the outcome indicators that will be used to represent the results;
  • the data sources and models that will be used to assess each of these elements;
  • the main sources of uncertainty in the assessment, and how these will be quantified or described.

Development of the assessment protocol is, in many ways, an expert process, for it relies on a detailed understanding of the science and of the methodology for impact assessment. To help ensure that it is acceptable to the stakeholders and faithful to the initial issue-framing, it should, however, be developed in consultation with the stakeholders concerned, and ideally should also be reviewed by an independent advisory panel or referees. Likewise, the final protocol should be made readily available (e.g. via circulation to all stakeholders and publication on the web), so that the assessment is open to public scrutiny.)

The atteched document was compiled as part of the EU-funded INTARESE project, which contributed to the development of this Toolbox.

It suggests a general scope and structure for protocols, developed as a basis for environmental health impact assessments. The protocol covers the entire process of the assessment, from detailed specification of the issue and system being analysed, through to dissemination, reporting and verification.

Interpretation of HBM data

Examples of assessment protocols

As part of the INTARESE project, which contributed to the development of this Toolbox, case studies were undertaken to test and illustrate the methods involved. These addressed the following topics:

  • Agricultural land use change
  • Climate change
  • Domestic water supplies
  • Household chemcials
  • Housing
  • Transport
  • Waste management

Each of the case studies developed a protocol as part of the Design process. Copies of the protocols can be obtained by clicking on the links below.

Agricultural land use assessment protocol_0

Climate assessment protocol

Climate assessment protocol

Domestic water supplies assessment protocol

Household chemicals assessment protocol

Housing assessment protocol

Transport assessment protocol

Wastes assessment protocol

See also

Integrated Environmental Health Impact Assessment System
IEHIAS is a website developed by two large EU-funded projects Intarese and Heimtsa. The content from the original website was moved to Opasnet.
Topic Pages

Boundaries · Population: age+sex 100m LAU2 Totals Age and gender · ExpoPlatform · Agriculture emissions · Climate · Soil: Degredation · Atlases: Geochemical Urban · SoDa · PVGIS · CORINE 2000 · Biomarkers: AP As BPA BFRs Cd Dioxins DBPs Fluorinated surfactants Pb Organochlorine insecticides OPs Parabens Phthalates PAHs PCBs · Health: Effects Statistics · CARE · IRTAD · Functions: Impact Exposure-response · Monetary values · Morbidity · Mortality: Database

Examples and case studies Defining question: Agriculture Waste Water · Defining stakeholders: Agriculture Waste Water · Engaging stakeholders: Water · Scenarios: Agriculture Crop CAP Crop allocation Energy crop · Scenario examples: Transport Waste SRES-population UVR and Cancer
Models and methods Ind. select · Mindmap · Diagr. tools · Scen. constr. · Focal sum · Land use · Visual. toolbox · SIENA: Simulator Data Description · Mass balance · Matrix · Princ. comp. · ADMS · CAR · CHIMERE · EcoSenseWeb · H2O Quality · EMF loss · Geomorf · UVR models · INDEX · RISK IAQ · CalTOX · PANGEA · dynamiCROP · IndusChemFate · Transport · PBPK Cd · PBTK dioxin · Exp. Response · Impact calc. · Aguila · Protocol elic. · Info value · DST metadata · E & H: Monitoring Frameworks · Integrated monitoring: Concepts Framework Methods Needs
Listings Health impacts of agricultural land use change · Health impacts of regulative policies on use of DBP in consumer products
Guidance System
The concept
Issue framing Formulating scenarios · Scenarios: Prescriptive Descriptive Predictive Probabilistic · Scoping · Building a conceptual model · Causal chain · Other frameworks · Selecting indicators
Design Learning · Accuracy · Complex exposures · Matching exposure and health · Info needs · Vulnerable groups · Values · Variation · Location · Resolution · Zone design · Timeframes · Justice · Screening · Estimation · Elicitation · Delphi · Extrapolation · Transferring results · Temporal extrapolation · Spatial extrapolation · Triangulation · Rapid modelling · Intake fraction · iF reading · Piloting · Example · Piloting data · Protocol development
Execution Causal chain · Contaminant sources · Disaggregation · Contaminant release · Transport and fate · Source attribution · Multimedia models · Exposure · Exposure modelling · Intake fraction · Exposure-to-intake · Internal dose · Exposure-response · Impact analysis · Monetisation · Monetary values · Uncertainty