Conceptual and Methodological Advances
Edited by Frank Vanclay and Ana Maria Esteves
Chapter 19: Utilizing a Sustainable Livelihoods Approach to Inform Social Impact Assessment Practice
Sheridan Coakes and Andreas Sadler Introduction Within a context where the use and management of natural resources is constantly changing, it is evident that while some communities are able to respond to change effectively, others are less able to make progressive shifts. Within the social sciences much research has been undertaken to consider the nature of communities, how they function and their ability to manage and respond to change. The sustainable livelihoods approach (SLA), with its focus on community capitals (natural, economic, physical, social and human), is particularly useful in providing a fundamental basis for identifying and further enhancing community capacity and resilience. This chapter outlines how the community capitals may be assessed at a local community level through the development of appropriate social indices. Case studies are presented that illustrate how such an approach has been utilized to focus social impact assessment (SIA) programs and to more effectively inform resource management decision making and the development of structural adjustment and enhancement initiatives at regional and community levels. Defining and assessing community sensitivity and resilience Much research in the social sciences over the past 30 years or so has focused on considering the nature of communities, including how they function and respond to change, addressing such topics as: sense of community, community competence, the vitality and viability of communities, community sustainability, resilience and adaptive capacity. While it is not the objective of this chapter to provide a detailed analysis of all these research areas, it is important to note that...
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