Social Impact Assessment: A Literature Review

11 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2015 Last revised: 24 Jan 2017

See all articles by Antony Kamakia

Antony Kamakia

Hohai University - National Research Center for Resettlement

Date Written: September 8, 2015


Social Impact Assessment (SIA) originated in the 70s as a supplement to Environmental Impact Assessment. Global organizations such as World Bank and the International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) have promulgated SIA guidelines to guide its practice. Typically, SIAs are considerations of the effects in which operations might have on the community, regions, and Countries. An SIA enhances the outcomes of investment projects regarding potential social impacts. The primary purpose of SIA and EIA is to bring about a more sustainable social and ecological environments. SIAs can alter project design or improve the quality of design. Project Affected Persons -PAPs identified by the SIA processes benefits by approaches vividly elucidated in the context of this paper.

There are some principles and activities which accompany SIA practice. Chief among them is that sustainability and cohesiveness considerations should be an ultimate goal of SIA and development planning. The paper then describes how a complete SIA process should conduct in all its entirety and also the various methods for calculating likely future impacts of an investment project. The methods involve examining the likely SIA impacts regarding future conditions without the baseline conditions and estimated circumstances with the predicted effects. Care must be taken to ensure the quality of methods and data, and to provide for critical review. This approach should form the core of any SIA process and is essential for any SIA practitioner.

Keywords: Social Impact Assessment, Social Analysis, Social Equity, Resettlement

JEL Classification: O21

Suggested Citation

Kamakia, Antony, Social Impact Assessment: A Literature Review (September 8, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Antony Kamakia (Contact Author)

Hohai University - National Research Center for Resettlement ( email )

8 Focheng West Road
Jiangning District
Nanjing, Jiangsu 211100


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