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Identifying and evaluating environmental and social impacts is essential to improve the footprint of humanitarian interventions and to ensure that they “do no harm”. This technical sheet summarizes the experience and recommendations of several NGOs on impact assessments.
The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been a standard tool in use for several years, internationally recognized and approved by a large number of institutions involved in emergency and development aid. If the tool seems so far to have been little used by humanitarian organizations, it could turn out to be a structuring tool that will enable the environmental challenges these organizations face to be better identified. However the structure of the standard tool does not always seem appropriate to the specific contexts in which humanitarian organizations intervene and some adjustment may be required so as not to impede the laudable goals of such actions.