Good Practice Handbook on Cumulative Impact Assessment and Management (CIA)

Good Practice Handbook on Cumulative Impact Assessment and Management (CIA)


International Finance Corporation IFC

Type(s) of Tool

Impact AssessmentsEvaluate the impacts of assets or policies on the environment and local livelihoods.

Lifecycle Phase(s)

Project PlanningGeneral strategy for a project’s delivery is developed.

Open Source


Language Availability

English, Spanish

Country of Origin


Date of Development





The Good Practice Handbook on Cumulative Impact Assessments (CIAs) proposes a six-step process to assist private sector companies in emerging markets in identifying and managing the cumulative impacts and risks related to their business activities. CIAs analyze the cumulative impacts on valued environmental and social components generated by a planned project or activity in combination with multiple other projects, actions and activities. This way, the assessment reflects the geographical and temporal context in which the effects are aggregating and interacting. The tool should be used in combination with the IFC Performance Standards and the World Bank Environmental, Health and Safety Guidelines.

Tool Outcome

With this Handbook, the IFC provides a guideline for the implementation of CIAs by private actors in emerging markets and fosters consolidation of CIAs.

Sustainability Criteria

The Good Practice Handbook follows a six-step approach to cumulative impact assessments that is based on an analysis of the existing legal, institutional and governance framework:
– Identification of Valued Environmental and Social Components (VECs) and spatial and temporal boundaries
– Identification of other activities and environmental drivers
– Gathering of information on baseline status of VECs
– Assessment of the cumulative impacts on VECs
– Assessment of significance of predicted cumulative impacts
– Management of cumulative impacts – design and implementation