Our communities, infrastructure, industry and the environment are increasingly exposed to climate change, natural capital degradation and disaster risk. Effective decision making, robust policy and sounds investments are required to address these challenges.

We help our clients navigate complex policy problems and investment decisions in the face of future uncertainty. Using deep sector knowledge and fit-for-purpose economic and public policy frameworks, we provide clients with the information and confidence required to make sound decisions of the right scale at the right time.

Services

  • Economic appraisal We are experts at applying fit-for-purpose economic tools to identify and analyse the full range of costs, benefits and trade-offs of policy and investment options. We understand how to communicate economics effectively to ensure our analysis is understood and supported.
  • Policy analysis and design We use public policy and economic frameworks to draw clear links across policy, incentives, actions and outcomes. Combined with our understanding of government operating processes, we know how to design policy that works.
  • Strategy development and performance measurement We work collaboratively to articulate clear goals and realistic pathways required to achieve them. We develop and apply monitoring, evaluation, reporting and improvement frameworks to assess performance and support adaptative management.
  • Environmental market development and review We use strategy and economic frameworks to design effective environmental markets. Our approach supports the development of markets that manage trade-offs and focus on the delivery of targeted outcomes.
  • Business case development We develop and review business cases for the investment of public funds in policy initiatives, programs and infrastructure. We understand the importance of a clear and compelling narrative that focuses on investment need and value.
  • Environmental investment strategy We use economic frameworks to support the public and private sector develop strategic funding and financing solutions. Our approach identifies the value the investment offers to beneficiaries and draws on our knowledge of funding and financing mechanisms to identify investment pathways.
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Selected project experience

Economic Model for Bushfire Management, Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Aither developed an economic model for the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), capable of quantifying the benefits associated with bushfire management options across Victoria. The model used spatial estimates of economic values relating to buildings, agriculture, tourism and ecosystem services, and used inputs from DELWP’s bushfire simulation model (PHEONIX) to estimate response costs. The economic model was used to support a significant business case and is assisting DELWP in communication and decision-making regarding future investments.

Monitoring and evaluation services for the NSW Marine Estate Management Strategy, NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

The Marine Estate Management Strategy (MEMS), released in 2018, provides the overarching framework for coordinated management of the NSW Marine Estate. Aither developed the integrated monitoring and evaluation framework for the MEMS in 2019. Aither was subsequently engaged to undertake a baseline evaluation of the MEMS. The evaluation findings and recommendations will support continued improvement in delivery of the MEMS, inform future planning, and support future funding bids.

Legal and policy analysis of agricultural sustainable management practices and payments for sustainability outcomes, National Farmers Federation, 2021

The Australian Agriculture Sustainability Framework (AASF) is part of the Australian Government’s $66 million investment in the Agricultural Stewardship Package. Aither was engaged to support the National Farmers’ Federation to assess potential legal and policy barriers to the AASF. The assessment included a focus on barriers to the uptake of sustainability payments as an incentive to adopt sustainable management practices. Aither assessed the distributional and market effects of these barriers and identified future policy options for consideration and future assessment.

Western Australia Carbon Farming and Land Restoration Program design, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, 2021

The Western Australia Carbon Farming and Land Restoration Program (CF-LRP) aims to encourage land managers to participate in carbon farming practices that support co-benefits for environmental, social and economic outcomes. Aither was engaged to support the design of the program to enable it to deliver multiple outcomes including market sustainability, project diversity, participant knowledge building, research and innovation, and value-for-money investments. Aither was subsequently engaged to develop selection metrics and a decision support tool to assess proposals received under the CF-LRP.

Biodiversity and land management business case, Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Aither was engaged to develop a business case for the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) for a suite of activities and programs aimed at supporting biodiversity and managing land effectively. Aither worked with the DELWP Biodiversity and Land Management Policy Divisions, including program partners Trust for Nature, Parks Victoria, Landcare and environmental NGOs to deliver a significant business case that demonstrated the value of investing in our natural and supporting assets and the risks of inaction. The business case was successful in receiving funding from Treasury.

Business case for funding and financing national strategy for coral reef restoration in Seychelles, World Bank, 2019

Aither was engaged to support the development of a national strategy for coral reef restoration in the Seychelles. Aither provided advice to the World Bank on how the Seychelles may use private funding and financing to restore its coral reefs, with a focus on restoring the coastal resilience benefits they provide. Aither designed and implemented an economic evaluation framework, using cost-benefit analysis, and assessed and recommended implementation and financing strategy options (such as payments for ecosystem services). The project concluded with a draft preliminary business case, which was used to inform the development of a pilot in Seychelles.

Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategies, various clients

Aither were engaged by six Coastal Councils across Queensland to develop Coastal Hazard Adaptation Strategies funded through the QCoast 2100 program. Aither undertook a cost-benefit analysis of proposed options to adapt to coastal hazards at key locations.

Cost-benefit analysis and qualitative assessments demonstrated which options provided the greatest net benefits to the community, supporting the decision-making processes of each Council. Analysis and reporting for each Council has been peer reviewed and approved by the funding body for community consultation.