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Development Impacts Assessment Toolkit

Complexity of Tools

Use this chart to consider the complexity of tools for development impacts assessment. Complexity is a measure of how easy or difficult a tool is to use.




Tool Accessibility If a tool is not publicly available, it will be harder to use because you may have to request it through a third party. GAINS states on its website: "Version not yet publicly available - access currently restricted to project collaborators".
Tool Interface Complexity A proprietary tool may be harder to learn how to use than something in Excel spreadsheet form. In some cases, the reverse may be true. Guidebooks are built to show you exactly what to do and will require minimal platform understanding. Is there a guided interface? Even if the tool is complex, a step-by-step graphical user interface can make using easier to understand. The EFFECT tool is a macro-enabled spreadsheet. Some inherent understanding of how to use spreadsheet software is required. The tool is delivered via a ZIP folder with many different Excel files within. A graphical user interface is provided in a START workbook that shows you how to use each workbook.
Data Complexity Are the multiple data needs? Do they include defaults? Are multiple levels or multiple tools involved? Is the pre-processing of data required? The LEAP tool includes many available defaults for data and will increase only in complexity as the user provides more data for assessment.
Analysis Requirements and Computation Resources If the tool provides very specific modeled output, prior experience with modeling may be necessary to analyze it. Some models require large computation time or must be run in a cluster. This could add to the complexity of running that model. AIM is a large-scale computer simulation model.