Social Impact Assessment and Evaluation

Subject ENST90002 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Twelve 1.25-hour seminars plus tutorials.
Total Time Commitment: Not available

Entry to fourth year or MA



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Assoc Prof Simon Batterbury


Melbourne School of Land & Environment Student Centre
Ground Floor, Land & Food Resources (building 142)

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

This subject develops the skills to understand and assess the social impacts of development, including international development projects, resource management, and planning proposals. We do this in two ways: by looking at how to assess the impacts of proposed projects, and through evaluation techniques for existing developments. In each case we develop practical skills and interdisciplinary techniques to appraise and evaluate impacts. These techniques draw from anthropology, development studies, and the policy sciences, and move beyond simple summative assessments and financial accounting. We consider the social and environmental contexts in which any form of appraisal is embedded, and the capacities of different actors (from the state to NGOs and community groups) to avert or mitigate negative impacts through learning, negotiation, and citizen participation. Examples, some presented by guest speakers, are drawn from Australia, Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia. At the completion of the subject students will have developed the conceptual skills to understand the impacts of development; be familiar with the range of methodologies and techniques used in impact assessment studies; and will be able to apply this in critical evaluation of the impact of projects and programmes.


To develop the skills to understand and assess the social impacts of development, including international development projects, resource management, and planning proposals.


Fourth year students: An essay of 3000 words 70 per cent, and a project report 2000 words 30 per cent. Masters students: An essay of 4000 words 70 per cent and a project report of 2000 words 30 per cent.

Prescribed Texts:

The Learning Management System (LMS) will be used for all readings. See also the journals 'Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal', and 'Development in Practice'.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • understand the role of SIA in the planning systems of western countries

  • understand international development projects and their social impacts

  • understand critical theories of social impact assessment;

  • be able to apply knowledge gained in the subject to conduct Social Impact Assessments and development evaluations.

Related Course(s): Master of Design (Urban Design)
Master of Development Studies (Gender & Development)
Master of Development Studies(CWT)
Master of Public Policy and Management (Coursework)
Master of Science (Geography)
Master of Social Policy
Master of Urban Planning
Master of Urban Planning
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Climate Change
Conservation, Restoration and Landscape Management
Development Studies
Energy Efficiency Modelling and Implementation
Energy Studies
Governance, Policy and Communication
Integrated Water Catchment Management
Public Health
Sustainable Cities, Sustainable Regions
Waste Management

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