chapter  9
The Contribution of Strategic Impact Assessment to Planning Evaluation
WithMaria do Rosádrio Partidário
Pages 12

This chapter addresses the evolution from Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) as a planning evaluation tool, primarily dedicated to the assessment of non-market values at levels of policy-making and planning, and whether SEA is responding to the needs of strategic decision-making. It refers to the objectives of SEA and what distinguishes SEA from planning and other evaluation tools. There are basic features in impact assessment that are performed by SEA and shared by EIA. These include scoping the significant factors for assessment and decision, analysis of an initial baseline situation, need to consider alternatives in the assessment, need to ensure public participation and make the decision public, and the monitoring or follow-up on implementation of the plan or policy. The chapter emphasizes the different interpretations that the term SEA has been receiving in different decision contexts, concluding by calling for the need to be pragmatic, and effective, in approaching impact assessment at strategic levels of decision-making.