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Conceptualising social impacts
journal contributionposted on 2023-05-25, 22:37 authored by Vanclay, F
The conceptual framework based on environmental function evaluation of Slootweg et al. [Impact Assess. Proj. Appraisal 19 (2001) 19‚Äö-28.] is used as the basis for conceptualising social impacts. Existing lists of social impact variables, such as those of the Interorganizational Committee for Guidelines and Principles for Social Impact Assessment, are examined and found to be inadequate and contradictory. A new listing of some 80-odd indicative social impacts is developed reflecting a change from project-based thinking to inclusion of the impacts of policies and programs, from thinking only about negative impacts to including positive benefits, and from thinking about unintended consequences to including intended consequences. The importance of differentiating between social impacts and social change processes is highlighted. Many of the variables typically measured in social impact assessment (SIA) studies are not in themselves impacts, but rather represent the measurable outcomes of social change processes, which may or may not cause impacts depending on the situation. Caution is expressed in the use of the list of impacts as a checklist.
Publication titleEnvironmental Impact Assessment Review
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