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close this bookConducting Environmental Impact Assessment in Developing Countries (UNU, 1999, 375 pages)
close this folder9. Emerging developments in EIA
close this folder9.6 Social impact assessment
close this folder9.6.4 Steps in the social impact assessment process
View the document(introduction...)
View the document9.6.4.1 Public involvement
View the document9.6.4.2 Identification of alternatives
View the document9.6.4.3 Baseline conditions
View the document9.6.4.4 Scoping
View the document9.6.4.5 Projection of estimated effects
View the document9.6.4.6 Predicting response to impacts
View the document9.6.4.7 Indirect and cumulative impacts
View the document9.6.4.8 Change in alternatives
View the document9.6.4.9 Mitigation
View the document9.6.4.10 Monitoring Scoping

· After obtaining a technical understanding of the proposal, one needs to identify the full range of probable social impacts that will be addressed, based on discussion or interviews with some of all those potentially affected.

After initial scoping, the social impact assessor selects the SIA variables for further assessment situations. Consideration needs to be devoted both to the impacts perceived by the acting agency and to those perceived by affected groups and communities. The principal methods to be used by experts and interdisciplinary teams are reviews of the existing social literature, public scoping, public surveys, and public participation techniques. It is important for the views of affected people to be taken into consideration. Ideally, all affected people or groups contribute to the selection of the variables assessed, through either a participatory process or by review and comment on the decisions made by responsible officials and the interdisciplinary team.

Relevant criteria for selecting significant impacts include the following: probability of the event occurring; number of people including indigenous populations that will be affected; duration of impacts (long-term versus short-term); value of benefits and costs to impacted groups (intensity of impacts); extent that the impact is reversible or can be mitigated; likelihood of causing subsequent impacts; relevance to present and future policy decisions; uncertainty over possible effects; and presence or absence of controversy over the issue.