Social Risk Assessment
Social risk assessment is a method for predicting and assessing the consequences of a proposed action or initiative before a decision is made. The aims of risk assessment are better decision-making processes and better outcomes from decisions.
Economic and environmental risk assessments are well established processes in planning and are widely used. Social risk assessment refers to the assessment of the social consequences of a proposed decision or action, namely the risks on affected groups of people and on their way of life, health & culture and capacity to sustain these. A triple bottom line approach to planning decisions includes social risk assessment in risk assessment processes.
To date, most planning practice has given less attention to social risk assessment than to environmental and economic risk assessment. Many risk assessments do not consider social issues altogether while others consider too narrow a range of issues. It is common to find that social science research findings and that risk statement is based on speculation rather than assessment.
Why Social Risk Assessment?
- Helps in identifying potential impacts essential for planning purposes
- Helps in identifying groups likely to be adversely affected
- Helps in designing projects that neutralize/soften adverse impacts
- Helps in designing projects that enhance positive impacts
- It’s is a common requirement of the planning process
- Provides opportunity to explain project’s objectives to affected groups
- Provides affected people an avenue to express their views
- Helps in allaying fears and winning trust of affected people
- Helps people identify development opportunities from the project
- Lowers projects costs by timely actions
- Reduces delays in projects clearance
The Social Risk Assessment Process
- Screening: decide if and what level Social risk assessment is required
- Scoping: identify the key social issues
- Impact analysis: predict the impacts of a proposal and evaluate their significance
- Mitigation plan: action to prevent, reduce or compensate for adverse impacts
- Reporting: provide the information for use in decision-making
- Review: check the quality of the Social Risk Assessment report
- Decision-Making: approve, reject the proposal or approve conditionally
- Follow up: monitor, manage impacts
- Public involvement: inform and consult with stakeholders
The process starts with the client’s needs and expectations. DQS wants to learn about the client’s organization, its management system, size and types of operation. Together both parties will define objectives for the assessment and/or certification, including applicable standards and specifications.
DQS will provide a detailed offer for assessment and certification services, tailored to individual client needs, based on the information provided initially. A written contract will specify all relevant deliverables as well as applicable assessment and certification criteria.
A pre-audit can serve as initial performance or gap analysis, identifying strengths and areas for improvement. For larger assessment and certification projects a project planning meeting provides a valuable opportunity for the client to meet the lead assessor and develop a customized assessment plan for all functions and locations involved. Both services are optional.
The assessment procedure itself begins with review and evaluation of system documentation, goals, results of management review and internal audits. During this process, it will be determined whether the client’s management system is sufficiently developed and ready for certification. The assessor will explain findings and coordinate any required activities to prepare for the on-site system assessment.
The assigned auditor team will audit the client’s management system at the place of production or service delivery. Applying defined management system standards and specifications, the assessment team will evaluate the effectiveness of all functional areas as well as all management system processes, based upon observations, inspections, interviews, review of pertinent records, and other assessment techniques. The audit result, including all findings will be presented to the client during the closing meeting. Required action plans will be agreed upon as necessary.
The independent certification function of DQS will evaluate the audit process and its results, and decide independently about issuance of the certificate. The client receives an audit report, documenting the audit results. When all applicable requirements are fulfilled the client also receives the certificate.
Either semi-annually or at least once per year, there will be an on-site audit of the critical components of the management system. Improvement potential will be identified, with a focus on continual improvement and sustained effectiveness.
A management system certificate is valid for a limited period of time, frequently for a maximum of three years. At the end of this cycle, a re-audit will be carried out to ensure the ongoing fulfillment of all applicable requirements. Subject to this fulfillment, a new certificate will be issued.
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