Social Impact Assessment (SIA) has traditionally been practiced as a predictive study for the regulatory approval of major projects, however, in recent years the drivers and domain of focus for SIA have shifted. This paper details the emergence of Social Impact Management Plans (SIMPs) and undertakes an analysis of innovations in corporate and public policy that have put in place ongoing processes - assessment, management and monitoring - to better identify the nature and scope of the social impacts that might occur during implementation and to proactively respond to change across the lifecycle of developments. Four leading practice examples are analyzed. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards require the preparation of Environmental and Social Management Plans for all projects financed by the IFC identified as having significant environmental and social risks. Anglo American, a major resources company, has introduced a Socio-Economic Assessment Toolbox, which requires mine sites to undertake regular assessments and link these assessments with their internal management systems, monitoring activities and a Social Management Plan. In South Africa, Social and Labour Plans are submitted with an application for a mining or production right. In Queensland, Australia, Social Impact Management Plans were developed as part of an Environmental Impact Statement, which included assessment of social impacts. Collectively these initiatives, and others, are a practical realization of theoretical conceptions of SIA that include management and monitoring as core components of SIA. The paper concludes with an analysis of the implications for the practice of impact assessment including a summary of key criteria for the design and implementation of effective SIMPs.

Publisher: Environmental Impact Assessment Review

Region: Global

Type: Research Paper

CITATION

Franks, D.M. and Vanclay, F (2013) Social Impact Management Plans: Innovation in corporate and public policy. Environmental Impact Assessment Review 43, 40-48.

Social Impact Management Plans: Innovation in corporate and public policy
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Social Impact Management Plans: Innovation in corporate and public policy