Since 2018, ERM has formed part of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment’s (IEMA) Digital Impact Assessment Working Group, a cross-industry collaborative working group of environmental assessment and GIS/data professionals.

Through our involvement with the working group, we recently played a role in the drafting of IEMA’s Digital Impact Assessment Primer, published in April 2020. The Primer, written by practitioners for practitioners, is intended to raise awareness of current digital impact assessment practices, their potential for contributing to better outcomes in impact assessment, and the issues and challenges faced in doing so. It is currently available at no charge for IEMA members.

Following the publication of the Primer, IEMA launched the sixth edition of the Impact Assessment Outlook Journal on the topic of ‘Digital Impact Assessment in Practice’ with a new IEMA ‘microsite’ that includes additional visual and interactive content. ERM Principal Consultant Naushad Tahsildar provided inputs to the Digital Primer as well as published an article on Creative info-Graphics in the Outlook Journal.

Naushad also presented on the use of Creative info-Graphics as a means of effective communication in impact assessment during IEMA’s webinar on Digital Impact Assessment in Practice, held on 19 May, attended by 200+ impact assessment practitioners from around the globe. The webinar covered the topics of data management, data collection, digital tools, creative info-graphics, digital reporting, and digital innovation.

The Covid-19 pandemic has further demonstrated the need and benefits for advancing digital initiatives through collaboration. The capacity to assess impacts digitally is becoming increasingly more important and prevalent, as well as the ability to effectively and innovatively communicate the findings. ERM is proud to have played a role in the progressing this initiative with IEMA and continuing to do so.