Social Impact Assessment (SIA) is the process of identifying and managing the social issues of project development.
A development project can have social impacts that result in changes to people’s
way of life – their lifestyles, work, interactions and recreation;
culture – belief systems, customs, values, language or dialect;
community – its cohesion, stability, character, services and facilities;
political and governance systems – the extent to which people are able to participate in decisions that affect them, the level of democratisation, and resources provided for this purpose;
environment – air and water quality, availability and quality of food, levels of hazard or risk, dust and noise exposure, adequacy of sanitation, physical safety, and access to and control over resources;
health and wellbeing – physical, mental, social and spiritual wellbeing;
personal and property rights – particularly where people are economically affected, or experience personal disadvantage e.g. a violation of their civil liberties, human rights or customary rights; and
fears and aspirations – perceptions about safety, fears about the future of their community, and aspirations for their future and the future of their children.