Environmental and Social Assessment Procedures (ESAP)

Environmental and Social Assessment Procedures (ESAP)


African Development Bank (AfDB)

Type(s) of Tool

GuidelinesOperationalize sustainability principles, less specific than Benchmarks or Rating Systems.


Tools applicable to all sectors

Lifecycle Phase(s)

Enabling EnvironmentConditions that enable the integration of sustainability practices (regulation, laws, frameworks etc.)., Strategic PlanningPublic authorities identify the needs and long-term vision for infrastructure development., PrioritizationAuthorities decide which projects to realize and how to allocate resources., Project PlanningGeneral strategy for a project’s delivery is developed., Concept DesignTechnical experts broadly outline the project’s basic characteristics., ProcurementThe provision of goods and services to realize a project are tendered and closed., FinanceDevelopers decide how to pay for their project., Detailed DesignTechnical experts further elaborate the Concept Design., ConstructionThe asset is constructed in line with design, budget and timeline., Operation and MaintenanceInfrastructure assets are managed and maintained during their use time., Decomissioning/RepurposingObsolete infrastructure assets are repurposed, recycled or removed and the land is reused or restored.

Open Source


Language Availability


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The African Development Bank’s Environmental and Social Assessment Procedures (ESAP) support the integration of environmental, climate change and social considerations in projects and programs of the Bank and its borrowers. The ESAP describe the assessment procedure for different project types and across the full lifecycle from country programming to post completion. Thereby, the ESAP support decision-making and improvement of project results, ensuring that Bank-financed operations conform to the requirements laid out in the operational safeguards (OS) and are thus sustainable.

Tool Outcome

The adoption and implementation of the ESAP help enhance the environmental and social performance of the Bank’s operations and improve project outcomes. Moreover, effective implementation of the ESAP helps avoid incurring costs and implementation delays as a result of unanticipated problems and reduces the need for project conditionality as remedial measures can be taken in advance and incorporated into project design or project alternatives can be considered.

Sustainability Criteria

Evaluation areas depend on the nature and scale of projects and programs. They include:
– Environmental and social assessment
– Involuntary resettlement: land acquisition, population displacement and compensation
– Biodiversity and ecosystem services
– Pollution prevention and control, greenhouse gases, hazardous materials and resource efficiency
– Labour conditions, health and safety