Gender-Based Analysis Plus in Impact Assessment

What is Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA Plus)?

GBA Plus is an analytical process that assesses how diverse population groups experience the impacts of major projects differently which can assist in identifying ways to mitigate those impacts. Its use supports transparent, informed, inclusive and equitable decision-making.

We all have multiple identity factors such as race, ethnicity, religion, age and mental or physical disability that intersect to make us who we are. This is called intersectionality. The "Plus" in GBA Plus acknowledges intersectionality and that we need to go beyond sex and gender to analyze the other facets of whom people are and how this influences our experiences when assessing the impacts of projects.

Is GBA Plus new to Government of Canada project reviews?

Since the Impact Assessment Act came into force, GBA Plus is a new requirement for impact assessments of designated projects.

While not previously required by law, GBA Plus is a common, internationally recognized, best practice in impact assessments. It is considered an important tool to look at project effects across potentially impacted groups.

Now, under the new Act, not only does the Government of Canada require that GBA Plus be incorporated into the Impact Statement but will also enforce conditions as it relates to mitigation measures for effects within federal jurisdiction identified by GBA Plus if a project is approved.

What is the value of GBA Plus in impact assessment?

Applying GBA Plus to impact assessments improves our understanding of the positive and negative effects that a designated project may have on diverse population groups. By considering that some groups may be disproportionately affected early on in the process, GBA Plus helps to ensure that negative effects can be identified and mitigated. This leads to better outcomes and supports more fully informed decision-making in the public interest.

What kinds of questions are asked when a GBA Plus is conducted?

  • Who might be affected by the designated project? How do we know? Will these positive and/or negative impacts be different for subgroups in the community?
  • Is there evidence that suggests that the project may impact diverse groups differently?
  • Does the assessment address this evidence and, where relevant, provide a rationale as to why potential differences are or are not investigated?
  • How does the social and historical context of the potentially impacted community affect how people may be impacted by the designated project?
  • Are there inequitable structures or systems within communities that may affect who participates in the impact assessment process, the views that are heard or what information is considered? Have steps been taken to create inclusive and safe engagement and consultation opportunities to hear diverse voices?
  • Are baseline profiles of communities available? Is data disaggregated by age, ethnicity, sex or other community-relevant factors to support the analysis?

What methods and tools are used in GBA Plus?

Different methods and tools can be used depending on the type of project being assessed, the community that is potentially affected, and the issues raised during the planning phase of the impact assessment process. A tailored approach helps develop unique responses and mitigation measures.

Example: Methods and tools to understand underemployment in a population subgroup

  • Statistics - highlight the percentage of people who are underemployed (or subgroups of those who are unemployed). Such statistics may help to gauge the potential for retraining after mid-career layoffs, which could support underemployed people or inform recruitment strategies.
  • Interviews or existing research - help to understand why underemployment is higher among some groups.
  • Community forums - help gather information to support findings and proposals for potential solutions or mitigation measures.

How should GBA Plus be included into an assessment?

Integration of GBA Plus

GBA Plus is clearly and fully part of the overall impact analysis. Findings are described throughout the Impact Statement where relevant.

Diverse subgroups considered

Multiple, community-relevant, diverse subgroups have been clearly considered through intersectional analyses in assessing the potential effects of the project.


The data presented are disaggregated, thorough and clearly support conclusions. Follow-through from baseline to effects analysis is clear. Efforts to collect community-specific data are described. Data gaps or limitations are clearly described.


The proposed mitigation or voluntary measures (where relevant) clearly address the issues identified in the GBA Plus.


Proposed indicators for follow-up clearly link to the GBA Plus and propose relevant indicators and data collection for diverse groups.

GBA Plus in practice: Considering effects of on-site housing for project workers

Without GBA Plus, a solution to housing cost and availability concerns would simply be to build temporary housing.

However, is this solution helping everyone equitability and is it truly addressing all the concerns?

Let’s examine how GBA Plus can provide a better understanding of the issues and more tailored and impactful solutions.

Separate consultations with local Indigenous women’s groups were held and a detailed history of impacts of transient populations, including colonial legacies, was prepared and discussed. Within this context, Indigenous women highlighted specific impacts regarding on-site housing: safety concerns and demand on local community resources (e.g., housing, policing, health and social services).

To address these issues, some proponents will establish work housing outside of the local community. This is to avoid increasing demand on limited housing stocks, which could otherwise drive up rental prices beyond the financial capacity of local residents. Increased rental prices could also have disproportionate impacts on some population subgroups. Additional measures are often implemented to further address related concerns identified by communities (e.g., cultural competency training, safety protocols).


Better understanding of these impacts, and identifying tailored mitigation measures for impacted communities, provides the public and decision-makers with a more complete picture of a project’s effects.

Essentially, GBA Plus is an important tool that contributes to a decision-making process that is more transparent, informed, and inclusive.

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