Policy Sciences

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 61-82

First online:

Social impact assessment of regional plans: a review of methods and issues and a recommended process

  • James C. CramerAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology, University of California
  • , Thomas DietzAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology, University of California
  • , Robert A. JohnstonAffiliated withDivision of Environmental Studies, University of California

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Social impact assessment (SIA) is defined and related to other policy analysis techniques. Conceptual problems in conducting SIA are reviewed. Various SIA methods are identified and evaluated for their probable effectiveness in assessing regional plans. Regional planning conditions are identified and constraints to, and demands on, SIA are examined. A strategy for SIA is proposed which uses public inputs during cyclical planning iterations for efficiently identifying and assessing the most important social impacts.