The International Handbook of Social Impact Assessment
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The International Handbook of Social Impact Assessment

Conceptual and Methodological Advances

Edited by Henk A. Becker and Frank Vanclay

This important Handbook presents an indispensable overview of the range of new methods and of the conceptual advances in Social Impact Assessment (SIA). Recent increased attention to social considerations has led to substantial development in the techniques useful to, and the thinking in, SIA. A distinguished group of contributors provides an up-to-date and comprehensive account of the cutting-edge in SIA development.
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Chapter 7: Integrating Health and Social Impact Assessment

Robert Rattle and Roy E. Kwiatkowski


Robert Rattle and Roy E. Kwiatkowski Introduction Human activity continues to exert increasing environmental pressures, and this has produced widespread undesirable consequences for many individuals and groups. Every effort must be made to ensure that development activities meet the needs of the present generation without harming people or compromising the needs of future generations. Only if this is achieved can we be certain that development activities are sustainable. Many different definitions and interpretations of sustainable development have materialized in recent years. Often these focus on specific elements rather than the varied and complex relationships that describe quality of life and wellbeing. One simple process cannot express the complexities of quality of life and sustainable development and their interrelationships. A holistic or multidisciplinary approach is necessary. Thirty years or so ago, environmental impact assessment (EIA) did not exist. Today, it is a formal process used in many countries and organizations to help decision makers consider the environmental consequences of proposed actions. It is considered a valuable tool to meeting sustainable development objectives. The results of an EIA may suggest important, indeed essential, interventions which may mitigate, reduce or prevent undesirable consequences and enhance the beneficial effects of development activities. Once the results are applied, they may improve the quality of specific proposals and help achieve sustainable development. An International Study of the Effectiveness of Environmental Assessment (Sadler, 1996) identified social impact assessment (SIA) and health impact assessment (HIA) as areas that are...

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