Integrated Impact Assessment (IIA) is define as an activity design to generate or produce interdisciplinary numeric or qualitative indicators to interpret, predict and communicate information about the immediate or delayed, foreseeable or remote effects of a given or series of actions, proffering what mitigation and compensation measures to be put in place against consequences of project, programme and policy actions on the well-being of an ecosystem. Further, in IIA there are many different ways in which different methods can be combined in an investigation. The most cost-effective combinations must be assessed in relation to each assessment, the purpose of the assessment, the particular issues to be addressed, the stakeholders involved, and ways in which findings are to be used (Egbeleke, 2004).. Although, techniques vary according to the nature of the intervention and the purpose of the assessment, the basic methodology is similar (Kirkpatrick and Hulme, 2001; Egbeleke, 2004).
IIA methodology processes are described as follows:
• Scope of Combine or Integrate Assessments: Determine which impacts chain within inter-linkages of social, economic and environmental impacts. should be investigated in the integrated assessment;
• Targets: Identify targets (where possible) for the combine or integrate impacts to be assessed, from the planning documents, or from widely accepted objectives appropriate for the type of intervention;
• Indicators: Identify indicators with qualitative or quantitative / both in description which support the measurement of combine or integrate impacts in relation to its targets (if one or more has been identified); also methods of data collection against these indicators and responsibility for collection of data need to be identify;
• Identify Impact (s): Within the scope of the combine or integrate assessment, identify immediate or delayed, foreseeable or remote impacts chain;
• Stakeholder Identification: Identify those social groups (e.g. communities, indigenous people) likely to be affected by impacts chain , and other stakeholders (e.g. suppliers, share holders, employees, government ) with a significant interest;
• Stakeholder Involvement: Decide how stakeholders will be involved in the integrated assessment; this may include involving stakeholders in refining the scope of the assessment, and in the identification of impacts chain and targets;
• Assessment of Combine or Integrate Impacts: Determine what impacts chain have occurred, their direct and indirect causes, and their importance in relation to targets and scope of integrated assessment redefinition;
• Quantification and Qualification of Impacts: Assess impacts chain magnitude where practicable, in relation to targets by scoring with full details in statements;
• Identify Mitigation and Compensative Actions: actions required to mitigate against adverse foreseeable or remote impact need identification and actions required to compensate for adverse immediate or delayed impact need identification;
• Identify Policy and Planning Lessons: Lessons relating to basic philosophy, principles, objectives underlying impacts chain as well as logical guidance for delivery of programme or policy intervention along impact chain need to be identified;
• Reporting: Document the findings of the separately social, economic and environmental impacts where possible and the integrated assessment in a manner that is clearly understandable to those who will use them; identify uncertainties and reliability of findings; establish means of public access to the report;
• Dissemination of Findings: Evaluation findings should be disseminated amongst stakeholders in a way that enable contributions on definition of mitigation and compensative actions and promote policy and planning learning (e.g. by workshops, meetings, publication of report); obtain stakeholders agreement on the report and agree follow-up action (Kirkpatrick and Hulme, 2001; Egbeleke, 2004).
Furthermore, Kikpatric and Hulme (2001) argued that all changes are influenced by mediating processes (specific characteristics of the agent and of the economic, physical, social and political environment) which in turn impact both behavioural changes and the outcomes in ways that are difficult to predict. With difficulty arising from impact chains presentation of a complex set of links as each ‘effect’ becomes a ‘cause’ in its own right generating further effects. Thus a complex evaluation of the inter linkages between social, economic and environmental impacts would required an assessment that is integrated in nature. Once IIA has been indicated as required in an intervention concept note, the design of IIA methodology is next with prime emphasis on stakeholder analysis, consensus on purpose of evaluation and key performance indicators as the starting point ( Kikpatric and Hulmes, 2001; Egbeleke, 2004).
Integrated Impact Assessment Driven Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Performance Reporting System
Below figure 2 reveal the importance of corporate responsibility and sustainability key performance indicators (CRS KPI’s) and integrated impact assessment (IIA) data gathering and reporting methodology in delivery of corporate responsibility and performance reporting system.
Figure 2: Integrated Impact Assessment Driven Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (IIA- CRS) Performances Reporting System
Through feedback streams integrated impact assessment can shape the development of CRS KPI’s needed to monitor progress and mange the adverse effects of CRS programme design and implementation, inform CRS strategy as well as provision of all inclusive data for CRS reporting in reference to global sustainability reporting measurement index. Likewise, Katsoulakos and Katsoulacos, (2006b) argued that for CRS performance optimisation planning and activities to take place information and knowledge need to be accurate, timely, relevant and usable. They further suggested that stakeholder’s opinion surveys can be of great value in ranking concerns or establishing the factors contributing to CRS performance but cannot be the only source of input for CRS performance optimisation. Therefore, this paper argued that Integrated Impact Assessment methodology is sufficiently position to provide the required sustainability data input into the Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Performances Reporting System.
Therefore, the above description in figure 2 did confirm the capability of IIA methodology at aiding sustainable strategic learning (Mayoux, 2002; Egbeleke, 2004) as earlier discus. It is evidence that if there is going to be any move towards integrated impact assessment driven corporate responsibility and sustainability (IIA-CRS) performance reporting system depicted in figure 2 there is need for Specification of KPIs and provision of official guidance for reporting non-financial information as IIA methodology is dependents on stakeholder’s consensus KPI’s (Egbeleke, 2004; Henriques, 2010). Although there has been a review of the Companies Act (2006) by the UK Government that has led to useful regulatory changes, but the specification of KPI’s was excluded as recommended. The question is why has the government review of Companies Act (2006) left out KPI’s in the context of Henriques, (2010) analysis FTSE 100 that found out CRS reports rarely contain any description or detailed specification of the indicators used? Other question is there any voluntary changes in CRS KPI’s contents of FTSE 100 CRS report after Henriques report that necessitate the exclusion from review? To know where we stand as regard this simple yet important issue of CRS KPI’s specification and definition we proceed to carry out CRS reports analysis of FTSE 100 by KPI contents for which the results are presented in table 1 below:
Table 1: Corporate Responsibilities and Sustainability Reports Analysis of FTSE 100 by KPI Contents
|Number of Companies|
|Report by KPI Contents||Percentage|
|Report containing sort of Key performance indicators||35||87.5%|
|Report with description of Key performance indicators||4||10%|
|Report without any form of Key performance indicator||5||12.5%|