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Striving Towards Sustainability: Introduction to Social Impact Assessment

Striving Towards Sustainability: Introduction to Social Impact Assessment

Any large-scale project in Malaysia is subject to social impact assessment, which is a concept that takes into consideration a project’s impact on the area it occupies.

Naturally, modern development will affect nature and society in various ways, hence why the social impact assessment is crucial as we move towards sustainable development.

To learn more about social impact assessment and its importance in modern-day development, continue reading the article.

What is Social Impact Assessment?

Social impact assessment is a process of identifying, evaluating, and predicting all intended and unintended social consequences of planned intervention, such as town development.

This methodology was created to promote a more equitable and sustainable environment socio-culturally, ecologically, and economically.

It is used to communicate how a community is affected by a certain plan, project, policy, or programme, as well as how to manage these impacts.

SIA was created as a supplement to EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment), as the latter document was unable to consider aspects such as a project’s social influence.

Social Impact Assessment in Malaysia

SIA in Malaysia developed as early as the 1990s when the government first began discussions on social issues and the necessity for a national social policy.

Furthermore, the local authority managing Social Impact Assessment is the Malaysian Association of Social Impact Assessment (MSIA).

MSIA is a professional organisation for those who work to understand and improve the SIA. The Registrar of Societies legally approved the MSIA in 2005.

What Are Social Impacts?

Social impacts are the effects that a particular project, development, activity, or policy has on its surrounding social environment.

For large-scale projects, such as the EDSD/BGSB – One Equine Mixed-Use Complex , it is crucial to find out how the social impacts resulted from the project will affect human life.

To better conceptualise what a social impact is, a social impact can be defined as anything that affects the following:

  • Way of life
  • Culture
  • Community
  • Environment
  • Health and Well-being
  • Personal and Property Rights
  • Political System
  • Fears and Aspirations

Read More: The Role of Urban Design in Increasing One’s Quality of Life

Importance of Social Impact Assessment

The aspects detailed above are important in ensuring that any development, be it town planning or an urban project, does not hinder the community it operates in.

Now that the SIA framework and its areas of concern have been discussed, it is crucial to understand the benefits that it offers to not only sustainable development, but also to society.

Predicts Negative and Positive Impacts

SIA predicts the nature and magnitude of how individuals, corporations, and communities may be impacted. For example, the way a project will affect the community’s hobbies.

Forms Mitigating Measures

SIA presents suitable suggestions and management methods to boost positive benefits, such as more eco-friendly designs, and mitigate any negative socio-economic consequences.

Determines Net Impacts Post-Mitigation

After the implementation of mitigating measures, SIA evaluates all social and economic repercussions that occur as a result. This is to determine if any new issues arose from the mitigation plans.

Resolving Public Concerns

By collaborating with the community to analyse any potential consequences, SIA contributes to the resolution of public concerns. As such, concerns to do with affected lifestyle and more can quickly be addressed.

Read More: Town Planning and Urban Development in Malaysia

Impactful Town Planning & Project Development

Generating a Social Impact Assessment report can be a daunting process, as there are many aspects of society and environment to consider. With the help of a reliable planning consultant, you can conduct your SIA seamlessly.

At PEQ Consult, our experienced team of consultants are ready to assess the SIA of your projects. This enables you to devote your efforts to keeping your business competitive. Our trusted services offer reliable town planning, CSR advisory, and more. Reach out to our attentive team and let us know how we can help you develop more sustainably.


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