Survey Results: Four EIA public participation case studies, South Africa

Published: 6 February 2018| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/yc8rtk7vjd.1
Nicholas Simpson


Statements about the general public participation atmosphere are phrased according to certain aspects of best practice EA public participation (Palerm, 2010). They include reference to dialogue, collaboration and discussion in Statements Ls17, Ls29, Ls30 and Ls316. Questions regarding the consideration of sustainability and future generations are highlighted in Statements Ls12, Ls13, Ls14 and Ls157. Procedural fairness is considered in Statements Ls11 and Ls248. Statement Ls14 considers the stakeholders perceived perspective of the adequacy of the decision making9. The stakeholder’s degree of engagement as ‘passive’ or ‘active’ are reflected in Ls8 and Ls9 and reinforced by Statements Ls25 and Ls3210. The self-perception of ‘active’ or ‘passive’ is included in the survey to help control for the degree of each stakeholder’s involvement. The degree of engaged and intentional activity of a stakeholder is hypothesised to have implications for functionings. The statements explicitly relating to capabilities, Statements Ls1, Ls2, Ls3, Ls4, Ls5 and Ls611 are drawn verbatim from the work of Anand et al. (2007, p. 70) who have demonstrated that a survey using Likert scales can be used to investigate a larger set of sixty capability indicators. Statement Ls1, Ls2, Ls3, Ls4, Ls5 and Statement Ls6 are articulations of Nussbaum’s (2003) eighth and tenth ‘central human capabilities’. These first six capability statements are selected out of Anand’s list as a baseline regarding distribution in a population. They are also selected for their relevance to a stakeholder’s conception of the good and for participatory actions. In this respect, Statements Ls1, Ls2 and Ls4 relate to Nussbaum’s sixth capability “Being able to form a conception of the good and the engage in critical reflection about the planning of one’s life”. Statements Ls17 and Ls2212 are created for this research with adaptation to the EA public participation context. Statements designed to target functionings are Statements Ls7, Ls8, Ls9, Ls12, Ls16, Ls18, Ls19, Ls20, Ls21 and Ls2213. They aim to identify actions taken by the stakeholder within the public participation process that facilitated their participation experience in light of their capabilities. Statements Ls7, Ls8, Ls9, Ls12, Ls18 and Ls22 have an explicitly individual focus, whereas Statements Ls16, Ls19, Ls20 and Ls21 are phrased to include functionings that involve other stakeholders. Although Statement Ls18 is considered a functioning as it involves a stakeholder’s action, the articulation, ‘I was able to give a reasoned explanation of my perspective’ is developed out of Nussbaum’s (2003) sixth capability “Being able to form a conception of the good and the engage in critical reflection about the planning of one’s life”. Statements Ls26, Ls27, Ls28, Ls29, Ls30, Ls31 and Ls32 indicate different responses regarding aspects of citizen agency and power in the public participation. (Arnstein, 1969; Choguill, 2001)



University of Cape Town Department of Environmental and Geographical Science


Environmental Impact Assessment, Community Participation, Capability Development