Reports from CAIP Affiliates: International Association for Impact Assessment

The International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) exists to improve and better inform the decision-making of today that has environmental consequences for tomorrow. IAIA is a multi-disciplinary organization for environmental practitioners and interested participants from all sectors: government, industry, training, research, consultancies, and community bases.

A primary purpose of IAIA is developing international and local capacity to make wise decisions regarding the anticipation, management, and planning of environmental change, with environment broadly defined to include economic, demographic, public service, health, fiscal, social, civil, and policy, as well as the natural resource environment. Considering ecological and human consequences is essential to enhance the quality of life for all.

IAIA has over 2,500 members in 100+ countries. It seeks to ensure that political, environmental, social, and technological dimensions of decisions are understood by those making them. IAIA promotes ecological sustainable and equitable development and is committed to environmental justice and the preservation of human rights.

Annual IAIA conference events are held in different regions of the globe each year. Typical meetings attract about 500 delegates from 60-80 countries. Recent conferences were held in Hong Kong (2000), Colombia (2001), and The Netherlands (2002).

History

IAIA was incorporated in 1981 in Georgia, USA. Its beginnings date back to a 1980 AAAS meeting in San Francisco when three AAAS members organized an all-day session on integrated impact assessment. Through the course of the day, discussion turned toward forming an association to succeed the former International Society for Technology Assessment. IAIA was officially inaugurated at a special session of the January 1981 AAAS meeting in Toronto.

Goals

The vision of IAIA is to be the leading global authority on best practice in the use of impact assessment for informed decision making regarding policies, programmes, plans and projects. Its mission is to provide an international forum for advancing innovation and communication of best practice in all forms of impact assessment to further the development of local, regional, and global capacity in impact assessment.

Through its activities, both international and domestic members seek to develop approaches and practices for comprehensive and integrated impact assessment. They also seek to improve assessment procedures and methods for practical application. IAIA promotes the training of impact assessors and the public understanding of the field. IAIA and its members provide professional quality assurance by peer review and other means, and finally, they share information through informal networks, timely publications, and professional meetings.

Membership

IAIA offers several different awards each year: Global Environment Award, Rose-Hulman Award, Regional Award, Institutional Award, Individual Award, and Corporate Award. All of these awards are available for non-US recipients. None of the awards are aimed specifically at individuals from developing countries.

Meetings

IAIA’05 Ethics and Quality in Impact Assessment
31 May – 3 June 2005
Hyatt Regency, Cambridge, Boston, MA

IAIA SEA Prague: International Experience and Perspective in SEA
26-30 September 2005
Prague, Czech Republic

Publications

IAIA Newsletter, quarterly
Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, quarterly journal
IAIA Annual Conference Preliminary Program, every winter
IAIA Annual Conference Final Program, every spring/early summer
IAIA Annual Conference Abstracts, every spring/early summer
IAIA Annual Conference Proceedings, every summer if funding is available.