This article aims to contribute to the debate about the role of assessment in the cycle of environmental policies in Brazil discussing the challenges and prospects for the advancement of the tool. For this purpose we made a historical survey of assessment, discussing the concept, classification and uses and finally the assessment of environmental policies based on the assumptions that developed tools for assessment social policies can be adapted to assess environmental policies and tools of environmental field as the Strategic Environmental Assessment can also contribute to advancing the field of study. The findings show that the challenges are great, especially in obtaining data. At first it may not be possible to evaluate impacts broadly, but it is important to assessment criteria relating to transparency, equity and legitimacy, as well as reconstructing the implementation theories. The automatic use of the results is unlikely, but if evaluation is part of a broader framework for improving public management, they have repercussions on policy improvements.
Policy Assessment; Environmental Policy; Policies