A participatory approach to social impact assessment: The interactive community forum

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


The Interactive Community Forum is a method of social impact assessment that seeks community members' judgments of social impacts resulting from project alternatives in an environmental impact assessment. The method employs a participant-driven description of the social system along with a set of community constructs to guide in the identification of anticipated social impacts. A diversity of participants with different areas of community involvement are exposed to a structured small group process where information is shared and community-level impacts are deliberated. Based on group discussion, participants project social impacts and identify measures necessary for their mitigation. The Interactive Community Forum thereby provides a means to integrate local knowledge into an Environmental Impact Statement and inform environmental decision-making through a modified public involvement process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-382
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Impact Assessment Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2003


  • Public involvement
  • Public judgment
  • Small group processes
  • Social impact assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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