Archaeological and heritage impact assessments are undertaken for one of three reasons:
- To provide guidance to National Museums & Monuments Zimbabwe, other government agencies, private sector players or the general public where there are developments that may have adverse impacts to heritage/historical sites. These assessments identify sites and provide suitable management strategies. Their role is not to prohibit or impede land use and development, but rather to assist the relevant authorities in making decisions that will ensure effective management of heritage resources as well as optimal land use.
- To identify and describe heritage sites and suitable use/avoidance in the case of commercial tourism operations.
- The development of community or private mini-museums or displays for commercial or local cultural reasons.
Archaeological impact assessments are routinely carried out as part of the environmental impact assessment process or they can be commissioned as a separate study.