6. Social Impact Assessment and Management

  • Overview
  • Description
  • Trainer Info

This intermediate course provides a current overview of leading industry practice related to social impact assessment and management, and social performance that is consistent with IAIA’s International Principles for SIA. We address the current issues relevant to the business of managing the social impacts of planned interventions. The trainers include: a person with considerable industry consulting experience; and a leading academic in SIA. In our course, SIA is regarded as being more than just the ex-ante prediction of social impacts, it should be the process of managing the social issues, and a mechanism to ensure social and economic development.
This course will appeal to early career IA practitioners, people who commission SIAs, people who would like to do them, people who are involved in assessing them, and people with a general interest in the field. Specific course objectives are to:

  • Increase awareness of new developments in SIA thinking and practice;
  • Create awareness of the benefits to proponents of seeing SIA as an ongoing process of adaptive management and engagement with stakeholders, rather than as a point-in-time assessment;
  • Strengthen understandings of the social nature of impacts on communities;
  • Build practical knowledge in conducting SIAs;
  • Increase ability to critically evaluate SIAs;
  • Increase awareness of approaches to ensure SIA commitments are implemented;
  • Provide tools to realise the potential of proponents to contribute to sustainability outcomes;
  • Increase comprehension of the ethical, human rights and legal issues in SIA practice.

The course provides frameworks and tools to consider issues such as: social impact management plans; sustainable livelihoods; ecosystems services; human rights; gender and vulnerability; free, prior and informed consent; agreement-making with Indigenous peoples; cumulative impacts; social investment partnerships; local content; grievance mechanisms; and other emerging trends.


Intermediate. This course will appeal to early career SIA practitioners, people who commission SIAs, people who would like to do them, people who are involved in assessing them, and people with a general interest in the field. It is not intended that people with considerable experience doing SIAs attend this course.


There is no specific prerequisite, however it is presumed that participants will have a general understanding of the (environmental) impact assessment process.




2 days (18-19 April)




Ana Maria Esteves, Ph.D., Director, Community Insights Group (The Netherlands)
Frank Vanclay, Head of Department, Cultural Geography, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen (The Netherlands)

Special Note:

The participants will be working on an excel based tool in groups of 2 or 3. Participants will be asked to bring a laptop if they have one.


Utilisation of participatory methods
The training program is designed to have an effective blend of instruction and participatory process. As facilitators, the trainers establish a friendly supportive environment which enables participation by all, being mindful of cultural background and personal learning styles. The experiences of the participants are utilised by encouraging personal contribution and general discussion. Learning is facilitated through the use of table-based groupwork and the use of a structured case-study exercise. A range of resources and learning formats are used.
Details of case study exercise
The training program encourages participants to share their personal experiences and the instructors draw on their vast experiences as consultants in, for example Italy, Angola, Australia, Chile, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Mozambique, Peru, South Africa, Suriname and Tanzania. However, the groupwork is primarily structured around a single case study (a mine in Papua New Guinea). A briefing paper on the case study is given to participants, and an introduction to the case study is provided by the use of a 20 minute documentary video.
Outline of structure and content
An indicative program follows. Timings will be adjusted if necessary to suit the final timetable set by conference organisers taking note of morning and afternoon breaks.

Program topic


Day 1


1. Welcome, expectations, overview of course, intro to social impacts


Morning tea


2. Introduction to SIA – Part I (foundations)


3. Introduction to SIA – Part II (overview of the process)




4. Human rights


5. Understanding how communities work


6. Engaging communities


Afternoon tea


7. Scoping the social issues


8. Wrap up


Day 2


9. Predicting and assessing impacts


10. Establishing significance


Morning tea


11. Embedding in project teams and their organisations


12. Developing mitigation and enhancement strategies




13. Developing a social impact management plan


14. Monitoring and adaptive management


Afternoon tea


15. Emerging issues and open discussion


16. Close and course evaluation


Description of the materials participants will receive prior to or during the course

The materials we provide include: an agenda/program, a case study description, a template for recording data collected during an SIA, a quick reference guide on human rights, a USB with copies of the PPTs, and PDF copies of useful resources including research papers and reports where permitted by copyright restrictions.


Dr Ana Maria Esteves
Ana Maria is director of the social performance consulting firm, Community Insights Group, and is currently based in Groningen, The Netherlands. She is also an Industry Fellow with the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining at the University of Queensland (Australia) and a visiting professor with the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow (Scotland). Ana Maria has previously served on the IAIA Board of Directors and is a past Chair of the Social Impact Assessment Section. She is also a member of an Australian Government Panel of Experts on Mining Sector Governance in Africa.
As a consultant, Ana Maria goes beyond impact assessment to working with clients predominantly in the mining, oil and gas sector to contribute to social development at the local level. In addition to participatory social impact assessment, her areas of particular expertise include:

  • Local content (procurement and workforce)
  • Corporate-community investment strategy
  • Facilitation of multi-sector collaborative projects
  • Social development needs analysis
  • Monitoring and evaluation

Her large corporate clients have included Anglo American, BG, BHP Billiton, Newmont, Rio Tinto, Shell, and Tullow Oil. She works all over the world, with a concentration in sub-Saharan Africa. She has a well-developed capacity for working with different cultures that comes from being born in Mozambique, and having resided in Australia, Hong Kong, South Africa, and Zimbabwe before moving to The Netherlands in 2010. She holds dual citizenship of Australia and Portugal. She is fluent in English, Portuguese, Afrikaans, and has basic Spanish.
Ana Maria completed an economics degree in South Africa. She also holds an MBA from Melbourne Business School and PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia. She is a graduate of the Company Directors Course of the Australian Institute for Company Directors.
In addition to co-editing New Directions in Social Impact Assessment with Frank Vanclay, Ana Maria is author of several journal articles on SIA as well as many consulting reports. Some examples are:
Esteves, A.M., Franks, D. and Vanclay, F. (2012) ‘The state of the art in social impact assessment’, Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 30(1), 35-44.
Esteves, A.M. and Barclay, M.A. (2011) Enhancing the benefits of local content: integrating social and economic impact assessment into procurement strategies. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal 29(3), 205-215. (Winner IAIA best paper of the year award for 2011)
Esteves, A.M. and Barclay, M.A. (2011) Evaluating the impact of corporate-community partnerships: lessons from the minerals sector. Journal of Business Ethics 103(2), 189-202.
Esteves, A.M. (2011) Women-owned SMEs in supply chains of the corporate resources sector, in Lahiri-Dutt, K. (ed.) Gendering the Field: Towards Sustainable Livelihoods for Mining Communities. Canberra: ANU E-press, pp.133-143.
Esteves, A.M., Brereton, D., Samson, D. and Barclay, M.A. (2010) Procuring from SMEs in Local Communities: A Good Practice Guide for the Australian Mining, Oil and Gas Sectors. Brisbane: Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, University of Queensland.
Esteves, A.M. and Vanclay, F. (2009) Social Development Needs Analysis: Adapting SIA methods to guide corporate-community investment in the minerals industry. Environmental Impact Assessment Review 29(2), 137-145.
Esteves, A.M. (2008) Mining and Social Development: refocusing community investment using multi-criteria decision analysis. Resources Policy 33(1), 39-47.
Esteves, A.M. (2008) Evaluating community investments in the mining sector using multi-criteria decision analysis to integrate SIA with business planning. Environmental Impact Assessment Review 28(4-5), 338-348.

Prof Frank Vanclay
Frank Vanclay is professor and Head of the Department of Cultural Geography in the Faculty of Spatial Sciences at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. He specialises in the areas of social impact assessment, social understandings of place, and social aspects of environmental management and agriculture. He teaches a graduate class on SIA and an undergraduate course on people & place. Frank is a past President of the International Rural Sociology Association (www.irsa-world.org) and a former member of the IAIA Board of Directors and sometime Chair of its Awards and Publications Committees. He has done much for IAIA including coordinating the IAIA Key Citations series and leading the Task Force to identify a new publisher for IAIA’s journal. He has been guest co-editor of two recent issues of IAPA. He is currently Chair of the IAPA Editorial Board.
Frank has considerable experience in SIA particularly through being an international adviser at various times to: the European Commission; the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union; the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; the Netherlands Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat); the French Agency for Radioactive Waste Disposal; the Conflict Risk and Impact Assessment project of the London-based NGO, International Alert; the World Commission of Dams; and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 2001, he worked for the World Bank developing a framework for assessing the social impacts of macroeconomic reform. An internationally acclaimed expert in the field of SIA, he has given invited keynote addresses at conferences in Australia, Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Iran, Korea, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom, as well as seminars in Norway and the USA. Of greatest significance is that on behalf of IAIA, he facilitated the process that led to the drafting of the International Principles for SIA, a landmark document that is widely cited by UN agencies, regulatory bodies, consultants, community representatives and academics and students. He is currently working on developing a draft Guidance document. He was the 2014 winner of the IAIA Individual Award in recognition of his contribution to social impact assessment.
In addition to editing New Directions in Social Impact Assessment with Ana Maria Esteves, he has also (co)edited: Developments in Social Impact Assessment (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. hbk 2014), The International Handbook of Social Impact Assessment (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. hbk 2003, pbk 2006), Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (Chichester: Wiley, 1995) and several other books. He has written commissioned chapters on SIA for several books. He is author of many journal articles on SIA, the recent key ones being listed below. Altogether he has published over 90 journal articles, 35 book chapters, 8 edited books and 1 co-authored book. Collectively, as at July 2014, his publications have received over 2,100 citations in Scopus (H score of 20) and over 6,000 citations in Google Scholar (H score of 37). For Google Scholar listing of his publications, http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=eu8vsasAAAAJ&hl=en
Vanclay, Baines & Taylor 2013, “Principles of ethical social research involving humans: Ethical professional practice in impact assessment Part I”, Impact Assessment & Project Appraisal 31(4), 243-253. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14615517.2013.850307
Franks & Vanclay 2013 “Social Impact Management Plans: Innovation in corporate and public policy”, Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 43, 40-48. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eiar.2013.05.004
Hanna & Vanclay 2013 “Human rights, Indigenous peoples and the concept of Free, Prior and Informed Consent”, Impact Assessment & Project Appraisal, 31(2), 146-157. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14615517.2013.780373
Kemp & Vanclay 2013 “Human rights and impact assessment: clarifying the connections in practice”, Impact Assessment & Project Appraisal, 31(2), 86-96. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14615517.2013.782978
Vanclay 2012 “The potential application of Social Impact Assessment in integrated coastal zone management”, Ocean & Coastal Management 68, 149-156. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.05.016
Esteves, Franks & Vanclay 2012 “Social impact assessment: The state of the art”, Impact Assessment & Project Appraisal 30(1), 35-44. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14615517.2012.660356
João, Vanclay & den Broeder 2011 “Accentuating the positive: Emphasising enhancement in all forms of impact assessment”, Impact Assessment & Project Appraisal 29(3): 170-180. http://dx.doi.org/10.3152/146155111X12959673796326
Vanclay 2003 ‘International Principles for SIA’, Impact Assessment & Project Appraisal 21(1), 5-11. http://dx.doi.org/10.3152/147154603781766491
Vanclay 2002 “Conceptualising social impacts”, Environmental Impact Assessment Review 22(3), 183-211. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0195-9255(01)00105-6



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