Geography Reference
In-Depth Information
TABLE 6.1 Steps in the Social Impact Assessment Process for Dam Projects
Identify interes-
ted and affected
individuals and
Failure to include all stakeholders can result in improper assessment of impacts. For dam pro-
jects, stakeholders may include relocated people, upstream and downstream residents, com-
munities affected by roads and transmission lines, and conservation groups concerned about
environmental impacts.
Step 1
ticipation of
stakeholders in
the decision-
making process.
Facilitating participation ensures that all affected individuals are included from the beginning,
which increases the likelihood of local support for the intervention, minimizes impacts, and
begins the process of considering measures to mitigate or compensate. All stakeholders should
be able to contribute to the selection of variables to be considered in the SIA.
Step 2
Data sources may include scientific literature, census bureaus or other agencies, or primary re-
search such as surveys, interviews, and so on. Both qualitative and quantitative research meth-
ods may be used. Data collection ensures that demographic, economic, health, social, and cul-
tural information is understood about the present state of the community before the interven-
tion, thus providing a baseline for comparison after project completion.
Collect baseline
data (social pro-
Step 3
Identify and de-
scribe the activit-
ies that are likely
to cause impacts
Impact-causing activities should be described in enough detail to help identify what data are
needed to predict impacts. For example, practitioners should assess the footprint of the reser-
voir, timeline for construction, number of people to be displaced, and other key variables.
Step 4
Predict likely im-
pacts and de-
termine how
stakeholders may
Prediction compares the present baseline conditions with likely conditions following the in-
tervention. Direct impacts (such as relocation) and secondary impacts (such as change in em-
ployment status, etc.) must be considered in sufficient detail to allow monitors to judge when
postresettlement living-standard goals have been met.
Step 5
Identify possible
intervention al-
ternatives (in-
cluding a nonin-
tervention altern-
Identification provides an array of alternatives for the location and design of dam projects.
Each alternative should be assessed separately so that decision makers can choose one that is
both technically and financially feasible and minimizes environmental and social impacts.
Step 6
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