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.
Angus Morrison-Saunders et al, "Gearing Up Impact Assessment as a Vehicle for Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals" (2020) 38:2 IAPA 113.