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 20: Human Impact Assessment as a Framework for Integration

Tapani Kauppinen

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


Tapani Kauppinen Introduction Human impact assessment (HuIA) is a process that considers a plan, program or project prior to its implementation with regard to its effects on human health and wellbeing. HuIA includes both social impact assessment (SIA) and health impact assessment (HIA). Integrating SIA and HIA may seem a strange thing to do as it involves scientific disciplines, paradigms and professional ideologies which have previously developed along diverging paths, and because there has not been a strong stated need for convergence of these two types of impact assessment. In the academic world, convergence is not necessary, especially where experts in different fields only maintain a working dialogue with other experts in the same discipline. For example, when sociologists, physicians or environmental hygienists only communicate in their own group, there is no need to blur disciplinary boundaries. Integration is also not generally seen as necessary in practice, especially when SIA or HIA is conducted as an expert-orientated, shuttle diplomacy-style assessment, where experts use their own data, expertise and interviews without the participation of the community concerned and without interacting with other professionals who may also be doing other assessments. In such situations, the responsibility for evaluating and combining the different impact assessment results is normally left to whoever commissions the assessment and/or to those actors concerned about the outcomes (citizens, stakeholders, decision makers). The relevant actors would decide what resources should be allocated to each assessment approach, and how to interpret the results. However, whoever conducts the impact assessment has...

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