The findings of an impact assessment should be published in an appropriate form for them to be used further and disseminated. If the outcome and impact assessment is carried out by the project managers themselves, then the resulting insights can be integrated into the organisation’s general reporting system. If the impact assessment is conducted by external experts, then they will generally produce a written report. Even in this latter case, the main findings ought to feed into the general reporting system. Whatever the case, project managers should report on the effect of their project, even if they did not conduct the impact assessment themselves.
It is just as important when producing a report to consider the needs of potential users as to include only essential information. The hallmark of a good report is that it answers the emerging questions in a clear, factual and intelligible manner. The evaluation process should be described with full transparency and the meaningfulness of the results needs to be discussed. Opinions and assessments must be highlighted and must not be presented as facts. Conclusions must be substantiated and recommendations must be oriented towards results. The stakeholders should also have an opportunity to comment on the findings, judgments, conclusions and recommendations.
The findings of an impact assessment should always be reported, regardless of whether the findings are expected or unexpected, negative or positive. What is particularly important, though, is an ability to communicate negative results. The reasons for the result, along with the corrective measures that have been planned or implemented, need to be described. Good recommendations are ones that are formulated in a way that encourages their implementation.
It would be wrong to restrict communication of the findings to publishing a report. Other forms of communication might well be appropriate, depending on to whom the information is addressed and what it is to be used for.