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ASSERT: Assessing security research: tools and methodologies to measure societal impact


There are numerous declarations on the importance of considering societal impacts of EU security research. The development of effective tools and mechanisms to assess the social implications of security research activities is in its infancy. Societal impacts are typically perceived as side effects of instrumental - technological and legal - security measures. This oversimplified view has to be overcome. Societal dimensions of security research, if taken into account from the outset of the “design process”, can increase the quality of feasible solutions. ASSERT will identify “best practice” cases to assess societal impacts of science and technology in the security domain and beyond. ASSERT takes a multi-disciplinary approach: social sciences, a broad range of stakeholders, end-users, researchers, policy-makers, industry and NGOs, building a comprehensive pool of experts. Bringing together these different perspectives will create the basis for the development of a tool and roadmap for the sustainable integration of societal impacts in future EU security research.

If you wish to further deepen your knowledge about concepts and methodologies of Societal Impact Assessment, please have a look at the ASSERT website [1], where you will find downloadable material detailing the presentations given on day one and two. 

In particular:

  • For a comprehensive discussion and literature review of SIA, its    origins and related areas such Privacy Impact Assessment, Contructive Technology Assessment and Surveillance Impact Assessment, please download the Report on Methodologies Relevant to the Assessment of Societal Impacts of Security Research: http://assert-project.eu/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/ASSERT_D1.2_KCL_final.pdf [2]
  • For a better understanding of the principles of „Good Societal Impact Assessment“, please look at our Final Report on Good Practice: http://assert-project.eu/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/ASSERT-D1.4-Final.pdf [3]
  • For a concrete How-To  and guidance on methodological choices, please go to our Social Impact Assessment Manual: assert-project.eu/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/D3-1-23-April-2014-Final.pdf [4]
  • You may also wish to register for the ASSERT Database of experts    https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PP668J3 [5] to stay on top of the latest developments around Societal Security and assessing the impacts of security research
  • For a more detailed view on the test case from the public transport domain which was presented in the morning of the second day, please look at A Case Study in Applying Societal Impact Assessment in Public Transport Security: http://assert-project.eu/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/ASSERT_D_Test-Case-Public-Transport_HC_14-04-09.pdf [6]

Principal Researcher

Dr. Leon Hempel [7]


Lars Ostermeier  [8]


Mai 2013 - August 2014

Funded by

European Union 


  • IRKS, Wien, Österreich
  • Hamburg Consult, Hamburg, Germany
  • Trilateral, London, UK
  • University of Stirling, Stirling, UK
  • King's College London, London, UK


http://www.assert-project.eu [9]


Zentrum Technik und Gesellschaft
Sec. KAI 3-2
10553 Berlin
Tel: +49 (0)30 314-23665
Fax: +49 (0)30 314-12323665
e-mail query [10]
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