Demonstrating the benefits of impact assessment for proponents

Angus Morrison-Saunders, Alan Bond, J Pope, Francois Retief

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


This paper is a call for more studies that explicitly demonstrate the benefits of impact assessment to proponents. While the community of impact assessment practitioners generally believe that impact assessment is beneficial (to all stakeholders), empirical demonstration of this, particularly to project proponents, is warranted, and especially in financial terms. While many impact assessment benefits are intangible in nature, learning from the business and management literature shows how such benefits can usefully be measured based upon perceptions of managers within proponent agencies in tandem with archival material. A framework of the nature of impact assessment benefits for proponents, and their relative tangibility is presented along with a five step methodology for determining benefits. We now call upon impact assessment researchers and practitioners alike to use this framework and methodology to structure investigations from practice that will contribute to an empirical database for demonstrating the benefits of impact assessment to proponents.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-115
Number of pages8
JournalImpact Assessment and Project Appraisal
Issue number2
Early online date14 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • impact assessment benefits
  • proponents
  • cost-benefit analysis
  • effectiveness

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