International Association for Impact Assessment

Digital IA: What might Artificial Intelligence offer Impact Assessment? – The IFC’s MALENA

  • Presenter(s): Atiyah Curmally, Florian Skene and Blaise Sandwidi

    Recorded: 3 NOV 2022

    Facilitator(s): Josh Fothergill

    This 90-min webinar is the third in a series on digital impact assessment organized by IAIA and FothergillTC which delves deeper into specific areas and examples of practice as identified and discussed in their late 2021 report on The State of Digital IA Practice.

    The webinar provides a deep dive into the development and application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in relation to the management and understanding of environmental and social risk related to its projects.

    The focus of the webinar is a presentation by core IFC staff
    – Atiyah Curmally, Florian Skene and Blaise Sandwidi –
     who have developed and are testing the deployment of the IFC's Machine Learning ESG Analyst (MALENA). MALENA uses machine learning, natural language processing and sentiment analysis to rapidly analyze text and extract and compile useful ESG metrics that can be used to assist in the management of environmental and social risks. The IFC presentation explains the basis of MALENA and its current beta testing phase, in particular exploring how the tool both utilizes existing ESIA content and acts to assist the ESIA and ESG Due Diligence process related to IFC’s own and wider partner investments.

    The final 30 minutes of the webinar are dedicated to a facilitated discussion with the speakers by Josh Fothergill (lead author of the State of Digital IA Practice), and questions from the audience.

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