IMPACT ASSESSMENT AND PROJECT APPRAISAL, vol.31, no.4, pp.305-317, 2013 (SSCI)
This article assesses the quality of the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) process in Turkey through an exploration of the legal status and practical dimensions of SIA. We examined a randomly selected sample of SIAs, implemented in 67 development and investment projects between 1993 and 2011, using non-mandatory indicators of quality assessment. We found that, although this period has seen substantial improvements in the legal status of SIA and some improvement in certain dimensions of SIA in practice, much remains to be done in respect to international principles, guidelines and best practices. In practice, SIA is often considered an informational and consultation activity to be fulfilled during the public participation meeting. Moreover, in most cases mechanisms of impact identification/prediction and mitigation/monitoring exist only in theory. On the basis of these findings and assessment of relevant legislation, we offer some recommendations to improve the SIA process in Turkey in hopes that an understanding of the problems plaguing SIA in practice renders these recommendations appropriate to other contexts as well.