Big projects have impacts on communities, the environment and sometimes on the society. Some projects may make use of contested technologies, others are run by reputation prone companies.

Your key stakeholders may use other data and assumptions to determine the impacts. A careful stakeholder engagement process is therefore required to come to a shared voew on what the impacts are. The most important impact assessment method is the Environmental Impact Assessment and Social Impact Assessment developed by the IFC, known as the Performance Standards. The PS are negotiated by experts from the private sector, civil society and governments roughly every five years. The IFC PS have therefore set the standard for other financial institutions and the industry.

The latest (2012) edition on the performance standards and their guidance can be found here

The International Association for Impact Assessments has published a Social Impact Assessment Guide, which can be found here

Adoption by financial institutions

The IFC Performance Standards have been adopted by many other development banks, including the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, African Development Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

Currently 83 Equator Principles Financial Institutions (EPFIs) in 36 countries have officially adopted the EP, covering over 70 percent of international Project Finance debt in emerging markets.

Adoption by the industry




Adoption by NGO’s

It is the logical task of civil society to continuosly strive for improvements of the standards. NGO’s do however protect the interest of civil society by referring to financial and industry standards.