SIA Guidance Document

Guidance for assessing and managing social impacts


Definitive SIA guidance document to be launched 20 April at IAIA15
07 April 2015
Vanclay, F., Esteves, A.M., Aucamp, I. & Franks, D. 2015 Social Impact Assessment: Guidance for assessing and managing the social impacts of projects. Fargo ND: International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA).

At the IAIA'15 conference (specifically at Monday 20 April, 11.00 -12.30) there will be a theme forum at which the document will be officially launched.

Published by the International Association for Impact Assessment, this 100-odd page document will become the definitive statement on best practice in social impact assessment.

Available for download below, or in Resources section of this website and on
The purpose of the Guidance Note is to provide advice to various stakeholders about what is expected in good practice social impact assessment (SIA) and social impact management processes, especially in relation to project development. Project development refers to dams, mines, oil and gas drilling, factories, ports, airports, pipelines, electricity transmission corridors, roads, railway lines and other infrastructure including large-scale agriculture, forestry and aquaculture projects. This Guidance Note builds on IAIA’s (2003) International Principles for Social Impact Assessment. While the International Principles outline the overarching understandings of the SIA field, including the expected values of the profession, this document seeks to provide advice on good practice in the undertaking and appraisal of SIAs and the adaptive management of projects to address the social issues. The intended users of this document include:

  • SIA Practitioners/Consultants who want to know how their practice compares with international best practice;
  • Project Developers/Proponents (private sector or government) to assist them in evaluating SIA consultants and in knowing what to expect from consultants;
  • Regulatory agencies in terms of judging the quality and acceptability of SIA reports and in determining what procedures and expectations will be;
  • Social specialists in the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), such as the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the African Development Bank (AfDB), European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB);
  • Social staff in other financial institutions, especially Equator Principles banks;
  • Development cooperation agencies;
  • Government planning agencies;
  • Communities and local peoples;
  • Civil society organizations;
  • People responsible for SIA regulatory frameworks.

Prof Frank Vanclay
Head, Department of Cultural Geography
Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen
PO Box 800, 9700 AV Groningen,
Contact Details:
Name: Frank Vanclay
IAIA 2015 Social Impact Assessment guidance document_2.pdf
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