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, the leading global network on best practice in the use of impact assessment for informed decision making regarding policies, programs, plans and projects.
IAIA was 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. To ensure professional specialty interests are fully addressed, IAIA offers a number of special interest-area sections.
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.
IAIA members number more than 1,600 and represent more than 120 countries.
IAIA Affiliates are active in Cameroon, Germany, Ghana, Iran, Italy, Korea, Mozambique, New Zealand, Nigeria, Ontario (Canada), Portugal, Quebec (Canada), South Africa, Spain, Western & Northern Canada and Zambia.
IAIA's first Branch (a group comprised entirely of IAIA-International members), the Washington (DC) Area Branch, was organized in September 2001 and the Ireland-UK branch was formalized in June 2008.
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.
Business operations graphicTo give effect to the IAIA value of promoting sustainability in the Association’s business practices, the Association has adopted the following internal policy to guide its activities.
The objective of IAIA management is to adopt business practices that make a positive difference to environmental sustainability. As a business operation, IAIA is committed to adapting our activities, products and services with consideration for a sustainable environment by:
- Managing and monitoring the effects of our activities on the environment, especially with regard to minimizing the impacts from travel and resource use related to IAIA conferences and meetings.
- Maximizing the positive impact IAIA’s resources and networks can have on members and others in promoting best practice in environmental assessment.
- To the extent possible, purchasing environmentally friendly products and services from vendors who have a commitment to caring for the environment.
- Supporting the training of staff to ensure they have sufficient knowledge of good environmental business practices to do the jobs they do for IAIA with a care and concern for the environment.
- Establishing investment policies that reﬂect our commitment to the environment.
- Recycling/reusing paper and disposable goods and evaluating alternatives to the use of such products.
- Purchasing office equipment, furnishings and ﬁxtures that conserve natural resources and minimize environmental pollutants to the extent possible in a conventionally leased space.
- Controlling the office environment with natural light and ventilation to the extent possible.
- Establishing staff work schedules that minimize travel without compromising service to membership or staff communication.
- Moving towards paperless billing and service provision.
- Reviewing our practices regularly to ﬁnd additional means of doing business in the most environmentally conscientious way possible.
Professional code of ethics graphicIAIA encourages its members to make a personal pledge of commitment to a Professional Code of Conduct. To facilitate this, IAIA has established a category of “Professional Member,” which is achieved by submitting the following signed statement.
As a self-ascribed professional member of IAIA, the information and services that I provide must be of the highest quality and reliability. I consequently commit myself:
- To conduct my professional activities with integrity, honesty, and free from any misrepresentation or deliberate bias.
- To conduct my professional activities only in subject areas in which I have competence through education, training, or experience. I will engage, or participate with, other professionals in subject areas where I am less competent.
- To take care that my professional activities promote sustainable and equitable actions as well as a holistic approach to impact assessment.
- To check that all policies, plans, activities, or projects with which I am involved are consistent with all applicable laws, regulations, policies and guidelines.
- To refuse to provide professional services whenever the professional is required to bias the analysis or omit or distort facts in order to arrive at a predetermined finding or result.
- To disclose to employers and clients and in all written reports, any personal or financial interest that could reasonably raise concerns as to a possible conflict of interest.
- To strive to continually improve my professional knowledge and skills and to stay current with new developments in impact assessment and my associated fields of competence.
- To acknowledge the sources I have used in my analysis and the preparation of reports.
- To accept that my name will be removed from the list of self-ascribed professional members of IAIA should I be found to be in breach of this code by a disciplinary task-group constituted by the IAIA Board of Directors.
The International Association for Impact Assessment is a multi-disciplinary organization for environmental
practitioners and interested participants from all sectors: government, industry, training, research, consultancies and community bases. IAIA offers both individual and corporate memberships. While many of the benefits are the same for both categories, you can learn about more corporate benefits on our Corporate Membership page.
'I've worked in environmental assessment and related fields for 25 years, during which time the discipline has evolved, expanded, learned and, at least sometimes, made a difference. IAIA provides a vital forum for professionals in this volatile field to benefit from each others' experiences and add value to their own work.' – Jack Krohn, Australia
Benefits of an IAIA individual membership
- Subscription to Impact Assessment & Project Appraisal, the widely-acclaimed international journal of IAIA. Through refereed papers, professional practice reports and book reviews, it covers environmental and social impact, sustainability, technology assessment, project appraisal and case studies.
- IAIA's quarterly newsletter provides professional news as well as organizational items and updates on activities of members, affiliates, conferences, and project initiatives.
- Membership in IAIAConnect, our online professional community. Network with other members, join special-interest groups, submit questions to group members, receive relevant posts and announcements from members around the world, search IAIA’s member directory and view members’ profiles.
- Reduced rate for annual conference registration
- Opportunities to represent IAIA at international fora
- Networking in special interest area sections
- Organizational linkages
- Receive timely organizational updates and announcements through the monthly e-newsletter
- Opportunities for international recognition through contribution to the work of IAIA and the profession, and through partnerships with other members and organizations
- Voting privileges in IAIA elections and at the annual general meeting
- Profile in online member directory
- Full access to members-only web pages, including searchable member directory
- Member rates for
- Advertisements in Newsletter
- Flyer inserts in quarterly mailings
- Job postings on Career Central, IAIA's jobs board
- Opportunity to be listed online as a signatory to IAIA's Code of Conduct.
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.