Positive Impacts

Beyond mitigating negative environmental and social impacts, infrastructure projects should strive to maximize benefits to the community. Direct project benefits typically include the provision of basic services such as water and electricity, increased employment, and resultant economic growth. One key project-specific benefit is providing employment opportunities and purchasing of local goods and services. Thus, specific programs should be implemented to hire and train local residents, purchase local goods and services, and enhance labor conditions of workers. Additional efforts are possible under the concept of corporate social responsibility, which could take the form of philanthropy or charitable donations, employee volunteerism, and partnerships. Other examples of positive impacts are establishing sustainable land management, enhancement or creation of protected areas, improving local institutional capacity, and promoting improved environmental and social management/sustainability within the sector. Infrastructure projects need to proactively and creatively work to enhance the environmental and social sustainability of local communities to address community economic development, poverty reduction, human development, and natural resource management.