International Association for Impact Assessment

IAIA COVID-19 Pandemic Statement

  • We make the case for impact assessment and for its centrality to good decision making

    IAIA COVID-19 Pandemic Statement

    This statement, made on behalf of the Board of Directors and the staff of IAIA, expresses solidarity with all who are working to slow and to halt the spread of COVID-19, with those who are caring for others, with those who continue to deliver essential services, and with people around the world who are experiencing hardship and pain as a result of COVID-19.

    This statement also sets out the importance of a clear scrutiny of investment decisions and of policies, plans, programs, and projects. In short, we make the case for impact assessment and for its centrality to good decision making.

    We all have an enormous task in the months and years ahead to restart our economies and to rebuild our confidence and trust.

    This needs to be done in a smart way. Policy decisions should support households and communities. They should celebrate the complexity of our different societies. They should meet the short-term goal of getting things moving again without compromising longer-term goals of sustainability, social justice, and environmental management.

    Approaches differ between countries and regions but all share a need for action and the reality that decisions taken now will have implications for years to come.

    Impact assessment professionals are already playing important roles in this rebuilding. We are not slowing decisions down—we are ensuring that the decisions taken are scrutinized and are correct.

    Less haste. More speed.

    IAIA is comprised of experts from multiple disciplines who work throughout the world in complex and challenging situations. We work across disciplines covering all aspects of the physical, economic, and social environment. Our members are experts in topics ranging from human rights, health, and gender to trade policy and extractive industries. Our members work to a code of ethics. We have many resources for impact assessment.

    We set out below our immediate list of actions.

    IAIA will

    1. Survey impact assessment practitioners to develop a global picture of actions being taken.

    2. Scan for COVID-19 relevant impact assessment resources and/or adaptations to IA policy and practice.

    3. Scan existing IAIA publications for resources relevant to impact assessment in the COVID-19.

    4. Develop capacity building and training.

    5. Develop COVID-19 publications.

    6. Create a “response fund” for individual and institutional donations.

    7. Continue to work with civil society, governments, institutions, and companies to make the case for sustainable development.

    We will review these actions to ensure they continue to meet the needs of this fast-moving situation.

    This is a time for decision makers and societies to use sound and scientific evidence and to draw upon the expertise of professions, like IA practitioners, to inform the actions needed to restart and to rebuild our economies, institutions, and supply chains. 

    We must take this opportunity to build a more just and sustainable world for people and the environment to benefit our children, grandchildren, and the generations to come.

    Luis Montañez-Cartaxo, President

    Sara Bice, Past President

    Ben Cave, President Elect

    Marla Orenstein, Future President Elect


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