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.
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.
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 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.
Vision: A just and sustainable world for people and the environment.
Mission: IAIA provides the international forum to advance best practice and innovation in impact assessment and advocates for its expanded use for the betterment of society and the environment.
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 ?ow 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Become Part Of An International Forum of Impact Assessment Professionals.
As an IAIA Corporate Member, you will be among leaders in the field of impact assessment (IA) representing many areas of expertise and interests. You will have access to the latest in IA news and learning through IAIA's online professional community, website, and peer-reviewed journal. IAIA's expanding network of international affiliates, branches and strategic partnerships provides you with the opportunity to develop business relationships with potential clients and partners within your field.
- Establish your organization as a leader in social and environmental responsibility.
- Connect with potential customers through IAIA's network, and its 700+ participants at IAIA's annual conferences.
- Stay current in the latest international news and developments in IA, and receive the IAPA journal – the widely acclaimed international journal of IAIA.
- Demonstrate your company's commitment to IA and be recognized through IAIA members and affiliates.
- Learn how IA as practiced around the globe can benefit you in the work you do and how you can contribute to improved global IA practices.
- Access outstanding training available on IA techniques at both the IAIA annual conferences and through customized in-house opportunities.
- Raise the profile of your company's IA activities.
- Show your company's leadership in applying IA.
- Benchmarking your approach to use IA as part of your increased social and environmental performance.
- Networking with other businesses, regulators, consultants and academics to exchange views and utilize opportunities for improved IA practice.
- Government Ministries
- Non-Governmental Organizations
- Public Agencies
- Donor Banks
Depending on which Corporate Member level you choose, your organization will be entitled to either two (2) or five (5) individual IAIA memberships, plus additional benefits to your organization, including savings and promotional opportunities. Choose from two corporate membership levels:
- Standard Corporate Member – US$1,000
- Stewardship Corporate Member – US$5,000
Upgrading to Steward-level membership gives you additional discounts, recognition for your contribution, and promotional opportunities. For example, all Stewardship Corporate Members are automatically recognized as sponsors of our annual conference. A more detailed comparison of benefits for each corporate membership category can be found in our Corporate Membership brochure.
IAIA Sections provide opportunities for IAIA members with mutual interests to share experiences and discuss ideas in an informal setting. Sections provide a forum for active topical debate and for development and promotion of good practice. Members can join the following sections:
- Access Sections on IAIA Connect
- Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
- Biodiversity and Ecology
- Climate Change
- Corporate Stewardship and Risk Management
- Cultural Heritage
- Disasters and Conflict
- Emerging Technologies
- Governance and Implementation Systems
- Indigenous Peoples
- Public Participation
- Social Impact Assessment
- Students and Young Professionals
A Branch is a Group of IAIA Members Located Within A Geographic Region
which gathers locally for various meetings of interest to the group. IAIA currently has three branches: the Washington (DC) Area Branch was organized in September 2001, the Ireland-UK Branch in June 2008, and the Japan Branch in November 2014. Branches are responsible for their operating structure and activities, and operate separately and independently of IAIA. IAIA is not responsible or liable for the actions or activities of the Branches.
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.
IAIA is committed to ethical and professional practice in all its operations. The statements on the following pages represent the foundational philosophy that underpins all IAIA activities and should inform the practice of its members. IAIA encourages the professional development of its members and environmental professionals and industry generally by providing a range of documents on best practice in impact assessment and related topics. These can be accessed online at www.iaia.org > Publications.
Click 'read more' below to find out more about these ethical responsibilities:
- Professional Responsibilities: IAIA as an organization promotes the ethical and professional practice of its staff and members.
- Business Operations: To give effect to the IAIA value of promoting sustainability in the Association's business practices, the Association has adopted an internal policy to guide its activities.
- Professional Code of Conduct: IAIA encourages its members to make a personal pledge of commitment to a Professional Code of Conduct.
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 that affect them.
- We seek sustainable and equitable outcomes from human actions that affect ecosystems and people.
- We seek 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 its implementation.
- We believe impact assessments should integrate social, cultural and health impacts with impacts on the biophysical environment and earth systems, including climate and biodiversity.
- We know that different groups in society experience benefits and harm in different ways. We strive to promote considerations of equity as a fundamental element of impact assessment. We seek to take gender and other social differences into account, and we are especially mindful of the concerns of Indigenous peoples.
- 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.
- IAIA is committed to ethical and professional practice in all its operations. The statements in this document represent the foundational philosophy that underpins all IAIA activities and should inform the practice of its members. IAIA encourages the professional development of its members and environmental professionals and industry generally by providing a range of documents on best practice in impact assessment and related topics. These can be accessed Online at www.iaia.org > Publications.
- Note that some documents have been translated into other languages.
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 re?ect 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 ?xtures 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.
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. Are you an IAIA member that has not yet signed the code?
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.
2023 IAIA Awards
IAIA Awards are given annually in the following categories. Nominations for the 2023 Awards are now closed; the awards will be presented at IAIA23 (May 2023). View previous award winners below.
- Global Award Presented to a leading individual or institution that has made a substantial contribution to impact assessment practice, management, or policy at a global scale.
- Corporate Initiative Award Presented to a private or public sector company for a specific activity or project that has made a notable contribution to responsible development practice through the application of impact assessment.
- Individual Award Acknowledges personal contributions to the discipline of impact assessment and recognizes major achievement and advancement in the theory and/or practice over a period of time at an international level.
- Institutional Award Presented to a national or international organization for outstanding contribution to impact assessment, such as a significant contribution to the practice of impact assessment, setting regulatory standards, or other environment-related activity deserving recognition.
- Lifetime Achievement Award Previously known as the Rose-Hulman Award. Awarded to a past or present member of IAIA for major contribution to the field of impact assessment over a sustained period. [Note that this is the only award for which IAIA membership is required.]
- Regional Award Awarded to a person or organization that has made a substantial contribution to the field of impact assessment and/or has taken a leadership role in promoting best practice in impact assessment within the general world region of the location of the conference for the year.
- Youth Award Acknowledges a distinguished young IAIA member under the age of 35 with outstanding achievements in the impact assessment field. [Recipient must be an IAIA member.]
2022 Award Winners
IAIA is pleased to recognize its 2022 award winners. Thank you to those who submitted nominations for the Awards Committee to consider.
that share an interest in improving impact assessment capacity, either within a specific geographic region or on a specific topic. These organizations are completely independent of IAIA, but the designation of Affiliate provides a formal link to IAIA and recognizes the potential for mutually beneficial collaboration between organizations. Such strategic partnerships help expand IAIA's reach and impact.
Check out the current IAIA Affiliates below!
- DID YOU KNOW? If you are an IAIA Affiliate member, you can attend the IAIA Annual Conference at the reduced member rate.
- Interested In More Information About Becoming an IAIA Affiliate?