International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA)

International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA)

IAIA is a forum for advancing innovation, development and communication of best practice in impact assessment. Its international membership promotes development of local and global capacity for the application of environmental assessment in which sound science and full public participation provide a foundation for equitable and sustainable development. IAIA supports individuals and organizations involved in these and related disciplines by providing a forum for the exchange of ideas and opportunities for collaboration.

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1330 23rd Street South, Suite C , Fargo , North Dakota 58103-3705 USA


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Business Type:
Professional association
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Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)
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The leading global network on impact assessment

Impact assessment, simply defined, is the process of identifying the future consequences of a current or proposed action. 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. Members of IAIA believe that impact assessment is a practical tool for helping meet today's needs without compromising the opportunities of future generations. Our members are our greatest asset.

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.

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

IAIA members number more than 1,700 and represent over 120 countries.  An additional 3000+ members are represented by IAIA Affiliates, active in Brazil, Cameroon, Germany, Ghana, Iran, Italy, Korea, Mozambique, New Zealand, Nigeria, Ontario (Canada), Portugal, Quebec (Canada), South Africa, Spain, Western & Northern Canada and Zambia.

Would you like to be part of a global network of people focused on a better future?

IAIA members are a truly inter-disciplinary group of individuals and organizations from all sectors: government, industry, training, research, consultancies and community bases. Representing over 120 different nations, IAIA members also have varied interest areas, such as health, economics, public participation, biodiversity and ecology, corporate stewardship, and strategic environmental assessment, among many others.

Membership in IAIA will give you:

  • Up-to-date industry information via a subscription to Impact Assessment & Project Appraisal, IAIA's widely-acclaimed international journal, access to industry best practices and guidelines, and the monthly e-news.
  • Direct access to impact assessment experts via full access to members-only web pages, including a searchable member directory, membership in IAIAConnect, our online professional community, and networking in special interest area sections.
  • Discounts, such as reduced rates for annual conference and symposia registrations, complimentary postings on Career Central jobs board, and reduced rates on advertisements, flyer inserts, and partner publishers' journals and books.
  • And more! Get 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, and more.

Join now!

Full IAIA membership for individuals. Rates are based upon your country of residence/operation (not nationality), in accordance with World Bank economic data.  Find out more about the country tiers.

Tier 1 (Low Income Economies): US$55

Tier 2 (Lower Middle & Upper Middle Income Economies)US$85

Tier 3 (High Income Economies)US$150


Full IAIA membership for students and early professionals at a discounted rate (proof of enrollment or recent graduation required). All students pay US$45 per year, regardless of country.

  • *Paper Copies of IAPA: The membership categories above include electronic-only copies of the IAPA journal. If you wish to receive paper copies of the journal via post, the cost is US$35 per year.


Corporate membership offers similar benefits to an individual membership, plus additional savings and increased exposure for your organization. Read more.

Connect Pass

Individuals who wish to be involved with IAIA without full membership. Allows access to IAIA's professional online community, IAIAConnect, for US$30. Regular membership benefits do not apply.

  • Up-to-date industry information

    Subscription to Impact Assessment & Project Appraisal, IAIA's widely-acclaimed international journal. 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 monthly e-news, sharing upcoming event details and deadlines, as well as professional news in the field of impact assessment.

  • Direct access to impact assessment experts

    Full access to members-only web pages, including a searchable member directory, past conference participants lists, and more.

    Membership in IAIAConnect, IAIA's 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, and view members' profiles.

  • Discounts

    Reduced rates for annual conference and symposia registrations

    Complimentary postings on Career Central jobs board

    Reduced rates on advertisements, flyer inserts, and partner publishers' journals and books.

  • And more!

    Opportunities for international recognition through contributions to IAIA publications and groups, and through partnerships with other members and organizations.

    Voting privileges in IAIA elections and at the annual general meeting

The United States' National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was signed into law on 1 January 1970.It requires federal agencies to integrate environmental values into their decision making processes by considering the environmental impacts of their proposed actions and reasonable alternatives to those actions.To meet NEPA requirements, U.S. federal agencies prepare a detailed statement known as an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).It was the enforcement of this piece of legislation that provided the impetus for the creation of IAIA.

In 1980, Charlie Wolf, Fred Rossini, and Alan Porter chaired an all-day session on integrated impact assessment for the American Association for the Advancement of Science's (AAAS) annual conference in San Francisco.

During one of the sessions at the 1980 AAAS conference, Rossini, Porter, and Wolf discussed creating an impact assessment association.The discussion continued over dinner in Chinatown.At the end of the meal, fortune cookies were served.The piece of paper inside Wolf's cookie read 'you will do well to expand your business'- and the decision to begin the International Association for Impact Assessment was made.The intent was to bring together all who were responsible for and figuring out how to conduct assessments which would meet the NEPA requirements for Environmental Impact Assessment.

IAIA was incorporated in 1980 in the state of Georgia, USA, where Porter lived and worked.Its first meeting was held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in January, 1981.Porter was the first Executive Director, serving from 1981 to 1988.Maurie Voland of Belhaven, North Carolina, USA, took over as Executive Director in 1988 and served in a part-time position until 1995.The Headquarters of IAIA moved to North Dakota State University (NDSU) in Fargo, North Dakota, in 1995, when the Board appointed Rita Hamm as its Executive Director.In 1999, the IAIA Headquarters moved off of the NDSU campus to its current independent location at 1330 23rd Street South, Suite C, Fargo, ND, USA. IAIA HQ operates with six full-time employees.

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.

Our Vision

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.

Our Mission

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.

Our Values

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.


To 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.


IAIA 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 to consider any complaint lodged against my professional conduct.


IAIA's international conferences are held annually around the world and regularly welcome over 700 participants. Regional symposia are organized to make information exchange and networking opportunities available to those who might not be able to attend the international conferences, as well as to focus attention to specific issues. Other events, such as roundtables and meetings, also take place periodically.


Welcome to IAIACONNECT, IAIA's professional networking, communications, and collaboration tool.

We think you'll find it useful in many ways:

For IAIA Section members

  • Access topical expertise by posting a question or discussion topic for fellow Section members
  • Easily see a directory of all Section members (including photos and profile information)
  • Upload Section-related working documents, visible only to Section members
  • Upload public resources, visible to all IAIA members and visitors
  • Quickly send a message to one or more section members
  • Add events to an online Section calendar

For all IAIA members

  • Ask questions and receive feedback from the IAIA membership in the 'IAIA Members' group
  • Find IAIA members who are consultants working in the health field and speak French, or any other kind of query, in the 'Members' directory.
  • Join the annual conference group to discuss the upcoming conference
  • Send a message to another member by searching for their name (no need to know their e-mail address)
  • Receive updates directly to your e-mail inbox in a digest
  • Download resources from the general IAIA Resource center, or from Sections' Resources
  • 'Bookmark' the resources, people, events, or groups you like most into 'My Saved Items' for quick reference
  • Using Content Alerts, receive notification when topics that interest you appear anywhere in IAIAConnect, even if you are not a member of that group
  • Rate or comment on resources posted online