Participatory Impact Assessment 

Participatory Impact Assessment is a stakeholder based form of multi-criteria analysis (MCA). 
The FoPIA framework was developed by Morris et al. (2011) for the assessment of land use scenarios in European regions. All stages of the impact assessment are based on stakeholder inputs: Results from stakeholder interviews are used to determine the form that policy interventions are likely to have within national circumstances and to define the different land use scenarios related to these policy interventions. In a second stage, a stakeholder workshop is conducted where participants (as experts) assess the impacts of the different scenarios on nine impact categories. Of these categories, three represent the ecological dimension, three the economic dimension and three social dimension of sustainability. The assessed impacts are then compared to sustainability limits set by the workshop participants. Finally, participants assign weighs to each category that represent their importance. This allows the calculation of an overall score for each scenario and a ranking of the different scenarios according to this score. 


While FoPIA  was originally developed for a European context, several case studies have since proven its adaptability and suitability for use in non-European countries in general and in developing countries in particular (König et al., 2013; König et al., 2014; Schindler et al., 2016, Graef et al., 2018)


Graef F, Hernandez L E A, König, H J, Uckert G, Mnimbo M T (2018) Systemising gender integration with rural stakeholders’ sustainability impact assessments: A case study with three low-input upgrading strategies. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 68, 81-89. DOI:10.1016/j.eiar.2017.10.004


König H J, Uthes S, Schuler J, Zhen L, Purushothaman S, Suarma U, Sghaier M, Makokha S, Helming K, Sieber S, Chen L, Brouwer F, Morris J, Wiggering H (2013) Regional impact assessment of land use scenarios in developing countries using the FoPIA approach: Findings from five case studies. Journal of Environmental Management, 127, S56-S64. DOI:10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.10.021


König H J, Zhen L, Helming K, Uthes S, Yang L, Cao X, Wiggering H (2014) Assessing the impact of the Sloping Land Conversion Programme on rural sustainability in Guyuan, Western China. Land Degradation & Development, 25, 385-396. DOI:10.1002/ldr.2164


Morris J B, Tassone V, De Groot R, Camilleri M, Moncada S (2011) A Framework for Participatory Impact Assessment: involving stakeholders in European policy making, a case study of land use change in Malta. Ecology and Society, 16, 12.
Schindler J, Graef F, König H J (2016) Participatory impact assessment: Bridging the gap between scientists’ theory and farmers’ practice. Agricultural Systems, 148, 38-43. DOI:10.1016/j.agsy.2016.07.002