Next Generation Impact Assessment: Exploring the Key Components

Document Type


Publication Date



IA Regime Design and Processes, IA Evolution, Policy Modification, Next Generation


The world now has decades of experience with impact assessment and most assessment regimes have undergone revision over time. A positive consequence of the debates about these revisions is a rich base of experiential evidence about IA successes and failures, apparent core requirements, best practices and promising innovations. We have been working with the concept of next-generation assessment and associated frameworks for a number of years now and feel that there is a package of essential elements that represent a consolidation of lessons from experience. Here, we present a package of 14 essential elements of next-generation assessment that could serve as a set of globally applicable generic components and a working framework of criteria to inform assessment improvement efforts anywhere. This iteration of the essential elements is based on input from an international audience of IA practitioners, proponents, government representatives, and participants. We conclude that implementation of many of the elements in ways suitably tailored for different jurisdictions would result in an important evolution of assessment toward next-generation approaches.