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Conceptualising social impacts

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Vanclay, F 2002 , 'Conceptualising social impacts' , Environmental Impact Assessment Review, vol. 22, no. 3 , pp. 183-211 , doi: 10.1016/S0195-9255(01)00105-6.

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Abstract

The conceptual framework based on environmental function evaluation of Slootweg
et al. [Impact Assess. Proj. Appraisal 19 (2001) 19–28.] 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.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Vanclay, F
Keywords: Social impact assessment, SIA; Scoping; Social impact variables; Social indicators
Journal or Publication Title: Environmental Impact Assessment Review
ISSN: 0195-9255
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/S0195-9255(01)00105-6
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