Social Impact Assessment (SIA) Community of Practice

Social Impact Assessment (SIA) Community of Practice


In 2017, EIANZ established the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) Community of Practice. The SIA Community of Practice is part of the Impact Assessment Specialist Interest Section (SIS).

Our aims

The SIA Community of Practice was set up to achieve the following aims:

  • Develop and maintain a community of SIA practitioners
  • Build and share SIA knowledge and lessons learnt and
  • Facilitate the improved integration of SIA practice within EIA.

What we do

The SIA Community of Practice develops an Annual Plan each year, including the following annual actions:

  • State/Territory based events twice a year, to give SIA practitioners an opportunity to catch up in person and discuss relevant topics in their State or Territory
  • SIA ‘gathering’ prior to the EIANZ annual conference to discuss topics of interest to SIA practitioners in Australia and New Zealand.

We have developed a page of online resources to support SIA practitioners that you can find here.

Definition of social impact

The International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA Guidance) defines a social impact as

“Something that is experienced, or felt, in a perceptual or corporeal sense at the level of an individual, social unit (family/household/collectively) or community/society” (Vanclay 2015 et al: 95)

Or simply put, social impacts are everything that affect people.

Definition of social impact assessment

IAIA has a short and long definition of SIA, the short being:

“Analysing, monitoring and managing the social consequences of development” (Vanclay 2015 et al: 95)

The long definition of SIA:

“Includes the process of analysing, monitoring and managing the intended and unintended social consequence, both positive and negative, of planned interventions (policies, programs, plans, projects) and any social change processes invoked by those interventions. Its primary purpose is to bring about a more sustainable and equitable biophysical and human environment”.

Social Impact Assessment: Guidance for Assessing & Managing the Social Impacts of Projects

How to get in contact with us

If you are interested in being part of the SIA Community of Practice, delivering our Action Plan or to get in contact with your regional representative, e-mail the SIA Community of Practice co-convenors at sia(at)eianz.org.