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impact assessment, sustainable development goals, integration


This article reflects on the potential for impact assessment (IA) to be a major vehicle for implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While it is acknowledged that the SDGs are intended to deliver broader outcomes than IA currently does, we nevertheless argue there is significant convergence between IA and the SDGs, which we explore utilising the key dimensions of sustainability assessment: comprehensiveness, strategicness and integratedness. We conclude that ‘geared up’ IA might be used as a major vehicle to facilitate achievement of the SDGs. However, IA must become more comprehensive and integrated, such that the full suite of SDGs and their relationships, including trade-offs, can be dealt with in a transparent and inclusive way.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal on 22 October 2019, available online: 14615517.2019.1677089

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