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 9: Disasters and Climate Change

Alison Cottrell and David King

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


Alison Cottrell and David King Introduction Whereas in other areas of social impact assessment (SIA) where studies are generally undertaken as ex-ante assessments, the consideration of the human catastrophes that result from natural hazards tends to only occur as ex-post assessments. However, as is the case with other SIAs, analysis of the experience of previous events can provide information that can be used to improve planning and preparedness, and thereby reduce vulnerability and enhance resilience of individuals, households and communities in the future (Keys,1991; Buckle, 1999; Buckle et al., 2001; Comfort et al., 2001; Handmer, 2003; Benson and Twigg, 2004, 2007; Berkes, 2007). What is learnt and understood becomes incorporated into emergency management, organizational practice and community awareness and preparedness activities. Impacts of disasters The most direct and immediate impacts of all types of disasters are deaths and injury, and damage to buildings, infrastructure and belongings. Tables 9.1 and 9.2 summarize these impacts globally during the last decade. Impacts are extremely unequal both between regions of the world and from one type of disaster to another. Deaths are concentrated in developing countries, while damage bills are highest in developed countries. Of all the disasters recorded by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED), nearly all are natural phenomena – only the complex humanitarian food crisis of 2002 in North Korea (2002 column in Table 9.2), occurring partly as a result of political circumstances and partly because of drought, as well as transport accidents, were human-induced. The damage...

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