New Directions in Social Impact Assessment
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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.
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Chapter 6: Ethical Issues and Dilemmas

James T. Baines and C. Nicholas Taylor


Introduction James T. Baines and C. Nicholas Taylor Ethical issues and dilemmas arise in all forms of professional practice. Therefore, it is appropriate that consideration be given to the topic of ethical practice and the kinds of ethical issues that have arisen as social impact assessment (SIA) practice has evolved. We canvassed the views and suggestions from the authors of other chapters in this book and other people in the field of SIA, and received numerous responses. We also reflected on discussions about the topic in SIA training courses around the world. However, this chapter is primarily influenced by our own experiences and perspectives as social researchers involved in private practice, in publicly funded research, in teaching and in-service training, and in writing about SIA, all in a variety of national jurisdictions and cultural settings (Baines et al., 2003; Taylor et al., 2003; Taylor et al., 2004). Despite the fact that SIA has been a branch of impact assessment in some countries for over 30 years, generally there is a lack of national institutional backing or professional organizations specific to SIA practitioners in the same way that is available to EIA practitioners, planners and lawyers. In Australia and New Zealand, for example, EIA practitioners can become members of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ), and can gain professional accreditation via the Certified Environmental Practitioner Scheme. Planning professionals can belong to the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) or the New Zealand Planning Institute (NZPI). At the international level,...

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