Session Topics & Descriptions


The following is a list of sessions tentatively planned for this symposium. The confirmed list of sessions will be posted with the schedule as part of the Final Program in mid-September.

Session Title

Session Description

IA and the SDGs

This session is an opportunity to discuss the role of impact assessment's contributions toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. How do we align SDGs within the family of impact assessments? Do the SDGs translate into a greater need to direct impact assessments explicitly towards sustainability? Is this an opportunity for sustainability assessment to emerge as a key process for achieving the SDGs?

IA in the developing country context

With growing disparities evident in the development progress of many developing country contexts, this session focuses on how impact assessments are being utilized to address development challenges in Asia. This includes emerging policy and practices across developing Asia, opportunities for development of IA processes and practices to further support the developing country context, and existing examples of how IA have been utilized within the region.

IA targeting human and economic development

Impact assessments can assist proponents in identifying and addressing potential impacts across proposals through systematic processes, tools and techniques. This session explores IAs that target human and/or economic development challenges within the developing country context. This may include different procedural frameworks, management plans, tools, techniques, or methods that are tailored around human and economic development challenges.

IA for the private sector to address income inequality

A major driver of development progress across Asia, the private sector has an important role in bridging the income inequality between rich and poor within Asia.  This session explores how impact assessments can provide the processes, tools and techniques to assist the private sector in addressing socio-economic issues such as income inequality. This may involve exploring how impact assessments can be used to address economic issues, inclusiveness, and broader engagement with opportunities to create employment and generate local business through supply chains.

Voluntary IA practice by the private sector

While impact assessment policy and regulations have emerged and solidified across developing Asia, there is an increasing tendency by the private sector—particularly by large foreign multinational enterprises—to go beyond what is mandated by countries they operate in. This session tackles an emerging area of interest within the literature, exploring the voluntary practices being implemented by the private sector to addresses the impacts of their activities beyond what is regulated.

International sustainability standards, guidelines, and criteria and their relationship with IA

Research has highlighted gaps between theorized processes, tools and techniques, and practice of the private sector for undertaking impact assessments. This session explores the important role of international sustainability standards, guidelines and criteria that has emerged over the last decade, and how these are informing and directing the practices of the private sector including in undertaking impact assessments. It may include case studies or exploratory studies that examine the role of international standards, guidelines and criteria from such sources as the Global Reporting Initiative Organization, the United Nations Global Compact, CDP, ISO26000 and industry specific standards.

The role of international organizations in driving voluntary IA use by the private sector

Increasingly, international organizations such as the United Nations, International Finance Corporation, World Bank, and Global Reporting Initiative Organization, are developing guidelines, standards, and principles that are translating into the private sector implementing voluntary activities including through the use of impact assessments. This session discusses studies that explore the role and impact of these international organizations in driving or directing private sector practices.

IAIA's role in disseminating practical tools and techniques for voluntary adoption

As the leading global network on impact assessment, IAIA has a critical role in disseminating tools and techniques that can inform the use of impact assessment. This session explores the role of IAIA, emerging practices in IA, different tools and techniques that may be adopted through a voluntary perspective, methods to increase the diffusion and adoption of IA processes in private sector activities, amongst other areas.



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