Table of Contents

New Directions in Social Impact Assessment

New Directions in Social Impact Assessment

Conceptual and Methodological Advances

Edited by Frank Vanclay and Ana Maria Esteves

This important new book outlines current developments in thinking in the field of Social Impact Assessment (SIA). It advances the theory and practice of SIA, and argues that a dramatic shift is required in the way socioeconomic studies and community participation is undertaken. The book emphasizes that, much more than the act of predicting impacts in a regulatory context, SIA needs to be the process of managing the social aspects of development and that there needs to be a holistic and integrated approach to impact assessment. It stresses that greater attention needs to be given to ensuring that the goals of development are attained and enhanced.

Chapter 1: Current Issues and Trends in Social Impact Assessment

Frank Vanclay and Ana Maria Esteves

Subjects: economics and finance, valuation, environment, environmental sociology, research methods in the environment, valuation, geography, human geography, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, sociology and sociological theory, urban and regional studies, regional studies

Extract

Frank Vanclay and Ana Maria Esteves Introduction Building on its predecessor, The International Handbook of Social Impact Assessment (Becker and Vanclay, 2003), this edited book outlines current developments in thinking in the field of social impact assessment (SIA). Like its predecessor, it is firmly rooted in the philosophy outlined in the International Principles for Social Impact Assessment (Vanclay, 2003) and emphasizes that the focus of SIA should be on: managing the social issues associated with planned interventions; taking a holistic and integrated approach to impact assessment; and stressing that greater attention needs to be given to ensuring that the goals of development (project benefits) are attained and enhanced. In this current understanding, SIA is much more than the act of predicting impacts in a regulatory context (the old traditional view); it is the process of managing the social aspects of development (Vanclay, 2006). The chapters in this book build on these foundations and contribute to this now established understanding of SIA. While there is consensus that SIA can make an effective contribution to sustainability, unfortunately its potential contribution is not being fully achieved – at least not in the way that SIA is actually practised. As several contributors to this book comment, most notably Bruce Harvey in his challenging foreword, typically the people who commission SIAs (and all too frequently the people who do SIAs) have traditional understandings about SIA. This traditional perspective limits the potential of SIA to make a real difference to the lives of people affected by planned...

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