Virtually all small-scale development activities—including aspects of housing, sanitation, water supply, roads, schools, community centers, storage silos healthcare, energy—involve construction. USAID’s global construction and rehabilitation portfolio includes small projects (e.g., individual water wells, clinics, latrines);large projects (e.g., roads, hospitals); projects in which construction is the primary activity (e.g., buildings, water infrastructure, transportation, energy, solid waste management, communication, recreation); and projects in which construction is a minor component in support of other project components (e.g., rehabilitation in health and education).

Construction projects may generate many types of environmental and social impacts. Considering environmental and social issues across the life cycle is essential, including during planning, engineering design, the use or operational phase, and the decommissioning phase. Addressing these phases during engineering design and in the environmental impact assessment is the most effective approach to managing potential impacts.

The construction SEG aims provide guidance on impact assessment and mitigation for the design, siting, building, maintenance, occupation, and use of infrastructure developed as part of USAID’s global construction portfolio. This guidance provides an equal emphasis on the management of environmental and social aspects for a successful and sustainable project.