Strengthening impact assessment: a call for integration and focus
Gunn, Jill A.E.
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We suggest that the impact assessment community has lost its way based on our observation that impact assessment is under attack because of a perceived lack of efficiency. Specifically, we contend that the proliferation of different impact assessment types creates separate silos of expertise and feeds arguments for not only a lack of efficiency but also a lack of effectiveness of the process through excessive specialisation and a lack of interdisciplinary practice. We propose that the solution is a return to the basics of impact assessment with a call for increased integration around the goal of sustainable development and focus through better scoping. We rehearse and rebut counter arguments covering silo-based expertise, advocacy, democracy, sustainability understanding and communication. We call on the impact assessment community to rise to the challenge of increasing integration and focus, and to engage in the debate about the means of strengthening impact assessment.