Impact assessment, simply defined, is the process of identifying the future consequences of a current or proposed action.
IAIA is the International Association for Impact Assessment, organized in 1980 to bring together researchers, practitioners, and users of various types of impact assessment from all parts of the world. IAIA involves people from many disciplines and professions. Our members include corporate planners and managers, public interest advocates, government planners and administrators, private consultants and policy analysts, university and college teachers and their students.
One of the unique features of IAIA is the mix of professions represented, which provides outstanding opportunities for interchange: to advance the state of the art and science of impact assessment in applications ranging from local to global to develop international and local capability to anticipate, plan and manage the consequences of development to enhance the quality of life for all.
IAIA activities seek to (1) develop approaches and practices for comprehensive and integrated impact assessment, (2) improve assessment procedures and methods for practical application, (3) promote training of impact assessment and public understanding of the field, (4) provide professional quality assurance by peer review and other means, and (5) share information networks, timely publications, and professional meetings.
Professional Code of Conduct, and Ethical Responsibilities
IAIA is an organization with a voluntary membership of professionals from a diverse array of interests and organizations, all of whom are concerned with environmental stewardship and sustainability. Collectively, our goal is to protect, not harm, the earth and its environments and peoples.
IAIA is the leading global network on best practice in the use of impact assessment for informed decision making regarding policies, programs, plans and projects.
To provide the international forum for advancing innovation and communication of best practice in all forms of impact assessment so as to further the development of local, regional, and global capacity in impact assessment.
IAIA promotes the application of integrated and participatory approaches to impact assessment, conducted to the highest professional standards.
IAIA believes the assessment of the environmental, social, economic, cultural, and health implications for proposals to be a critical contribution to sound decision-making processes, and to equitable and sustainable development.
IAIA is committed to the promotion of sustainability, the freedom of access to information, and the right of citizens to have a voice in decisions that affect them. When we assess the impact of policies, plans, programs, or projects, we promote the free ﬂow of complete, unbiased and accurate information to decision makers and affected parties. We believe that impact assessments should be inclusive and comprehensive, addressing the broader social and health impacts as well as any impacts on the biophysical environment. Respect for human rights and human dignity should underpin all assessments. We acknowledge that we have a duty of care to both present and future generations.
IAIA as an organization promotes the following:
- We compile or review impact assessments with integrity and honesty, and free from misrepresentation or deliberate bias.
- Our personal beliefs should not interfere with fair representation of the potential impacts of policies, plans, programs, and projects.
- We uphold the principle of freedom of access to information and the right of citizens to participate in decisions.
- We subscribe to a holistic approach to impact assessment.
- We seek sustainable and equitable outcomes from human actions that affect ecosystem and social functions.
- We will seek to encourage a process of impact assessment that averts infringement of the human rights of any section of society.
- We do not condone the use of violence, harassment, intimidation or undue force in connection with any aspect of impact assessment or implementation of an intervention arising from impact assessment.
- We conduct impact assessments in the awareness that different groups in society experience beneﬁts and harm in different ways. We seek to take gender and other social differences into account, and we are especially mindful of the concerns of indigenous peoples.
- We strive to promote considerations of equity as a fundamental element of impact assessment.
- We give due regard to the rights and interests of future generations.
- We strive for excellence by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of co-workers, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession.
- We do not advance our private interests to the detriment of the public, our clients or employing institutions.
Join a Truly International Forum
The International Association for Impact Assessment exists to improve and better inform the decision-making of today that has environmental consequences for tomorrow.
IAIA is a multi-disciplinary organization for environmental practitioners and interested participants from all sectors: government, industry, training, research, consultancies and community bases.
A primary purpose of IAIA is developing international and local capacity to make wise decisions regarding the anticipation, management and planning of environmental change. Considering ecological and human consequences is essential to enhance the quality of life for all.
Who Should Join
Individuals and organizations in research, industry, government, community groups, consultancies or educational institutions -- those who want to be more informed, more effective participants in the development of better environmental outcomes.
Services and Benefits
- Subscription to Impact Assessment & Project Appraisal, one of the best professional journals in the world
- Newsletter with international news about the profession
- Direct access to web site, resource networks, searchable database
- Connect with IA professionals around the world through IAIA's online professional networking forum, IAIAConnect
- Direct access to training courses and customized training
- Reduced rate for annual meeting registration
- Opportunities to attend and participate in international and regional conferences
- Opportunities to represent IAIA at international fora
- Networking in special interest area sections
- Organizational linkages
- Direct access to e-news network
- International recognition through contribution to the work of IAIA and the profession, and through partnerships with other members and organizations
- Opportunities to assist in global and regional capacity building
- Special Interest Areas
IAIA is uniquely interdisciplinary, with discussion 'Sections' and other informal groups that focus on special issues and interests for members:
- Biodiversity & Ecology
- Indigenous Peoples
- Social Issues
- Public Participation
- Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
- Disasters and Conflict
- Corporate Stewardship and Risk Management
- Law, Policies and Practice
- Trade-Related Policies
- Strategic Environmental Assessment
Conferences: 600+ delegates, multi-national participation!
Each year a new global location is selected for the IAIA annual gathering. Recent hosts include Australia, South Korea, Norway, USA, Canada, Morocco, The Netherlands, Colombia, Hong Kong, Scotland, Portugal, South Africa, New Zealand, Canada, People’s Republic of China, and Switzerland.
With varied and timely themes, great value is provided through training courses, local technical visits, extensive seminar sessions, poster displays, opportunities for building professional networks, and social activities.
An ever-expanding international network of Affiliates and Branches providing regional program activities gives IAIA a local presence around the world.
Strategic partnerships between IAIA and national and international organizations such as the United Nations and World Bank have enabled IAIA to achieve some program goals that would otherwise remain dormant for lack of resources. Our external partnerships also facilitate open communication on environmental assessment issues.
Professional Commitment and Growth
Membership in IAIA includes commitment to a code of ethics encompassing the principles of sustainable development and environmental protection.
- Individual members
Receive one copy of the journal and newsletter four times per year, access to the member web site, reduced rate for IAIA annual meetings, voting rights, and eligibility for all leadership positions within IAIA.
- Student members
Receive one copy of the journal and newsletter four times per year, access to the member web site, voting rights, and eligibility for all leadership positions within IAIA. Free registration to IAIA annual meeting may be possible in exchange for in-kind support. Proof of full time student status required.
- Institutional/corporate members
Two different levels of corporate membership are available, with newly enhanced benefits. Contact us for more information.