A comparison of a technical and a participatory application of social impact assessment

Dennis R. Becker, Charles C. Harris, Erik A. Nielsen, William J. McLaughlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Results of independent applications of a technical and a participatory approach to SIA are compared for an assessment of impacts of the proposed removal of hydroelectric dams to recover threatened and endangered salmon in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. The analysis focuses on empirical differences and similarities between the technical social analysis report (SAR) and the participatory interactive community forum (ICF) in terms of indicators used, projection of impacts, and types of social impacts identified in two communities. The SAR used a more homogeneous set of social structures and indicators to make expert-based projections. The ICF did not limit indicators to those aggregated across the region, but revealed residents' perceptions of impacts to their communities. A combination of the two approaches would provide robust findings of social impacts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-189
Number of pages13
JournalImpact Assessment and Project Appraisal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2004


  • EIS
  • Impact projection
  • Participatory
  • SIA
  • Social indicators
  • Technical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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