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 19: Utilizing a Sustainable Livelihoods Approach to Inform Social Impact Assessment Practice

Sheridan Coakes and Andreas Sadler


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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