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 18: The World Bank’s Poverty and Social Impact Analysis

Anis A. Dani and Sabine Beddies


Anis Dani and Sabine Beddies Introduction The World Bank’s history of assessing the social impacts of its development assistance dates back to 1980 when the Bank first adopted a policy to address involuntary resettlement caused by Bank-financed projects. This was followed by a policy to address impacts on Indigenous peoples, and in 1984 by an umbrella policy on sociological appraisal as an integral part of the Bank’s policy on project appraisal (Operational Manual Statement 2.20). All of these were designed to address the social impacts of investment projects, the primary vehicle for World Bank assistance at that time. In parallel, a policy on environmental assessment with subsidiary policies on specific environmental effects was also introduced. The combined set of environmental and social policies is now labelled as the World Bank’s ‘safeguard policies’. Over time, the methods for assessing these impacts, in particular those of involuntary resettlement and Indigenous peoples, have became well established and the metrics for addressing them systematized. The attention to social impacts of policy reforms is more recent and methodologically more challenging. In this chapter we discuss these challenges and describe the methodology of poverty and social impact analysis (PSIA), which has been adopted to assess these impacts and systematize this body of work. We also discuss the continuing innovations that are being introduced to increase its efficacy and effectiveness. ‘Policy and Social Impact Analysis (PSIA) refers to the analysis of the distributional impact of policy reforms on the well-being or welfare of different stakeholder groups, with...

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