Social assessment (SA) is used to analyse the conditions, causes, and consequences of social phenomena and social life. Social assessments are often carried out to assess all social and cultural consequences/effects of a proposed project, policy or intervention on the human population at selected scales. This Tool introduces the SA, discusses the importance and benefits of carrying out SA, outlines the SA process, and highlights key methods and techniques that can support SA processes.
Social assessments (SA) has long been used by social scientists for analysing the conditions, causes, and consequences of social phenomena and social life. SAs provide a framework to prioritise, gather, analyse, and incorporate social information such as dynamics of demography, socioeconomy, displacement gender, and poverty to foster a participatory approach into the design, delivery, and evaluation of large infrastructure projects, agricultural reforms, utility reforms, civil service reforms, and fiscal policies (Rietbergen-McCracken and Narayan, 1998). They enable developers and planners to understand the impact of the project on people and the impact of people on the project. It further helps to establish an appropriate framework for stakeholder identification and their participation in project planning, programming or policy selection, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Since there are a wide array of social indicators, social assessments need to be selective and strategic, focusing variables of operational relevance (McPhail and Jacobs, 2003).