• Class Number 7457
  • Term Code 3060
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Prof Sango Mahanty
    • Prof Sango Mahanty
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 27/07/2020
  • Class End Date 30/10/2020
  • Census Date 31/08/2020
  • Last Date to Enrol 03/08/2020
SELT Survey Results

This course will examine the application of social impact assessment (SIA) to a range of different types of project or activities. It will examine alternative approaches and methods to understand how new interventions and projects can affect social domains such as livelihoods, institutions, social structures, equity, culture and quality of life. The course will place a strong emphasis on practical case studies and students will be given opportunities to explore alternative impact assessment approaches in a number of sectors and within different national jurisdictions.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the legal and policy contexts in which social impact studies are undertaken.
  2. Determine what methods and approaches are appropriate to assess social impacts in different sectors and contexts.
  3. Critically evaluate social impact studies that have already been undertaken.
  4. Contribute to the design of social impact studies.

Research-Led Teaching

Assessments 2 and 3 are research-based.

Examination Material or equipment

No examinations in this course.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Week 1:What is Social Impact Assessment and how is it related to Environmental Impact Assessment?
2 Week 2: In what contexts is SIA used and how does this shape its purpose and scope?
3 What is the role of community engagement in SIA and how can it be facilitated? (Sara Bice: infrastructure) Assessment 1 (i): Portfolio submission #1
4 Week 4: Scoping impacts: how can we understand the impacts of planned interventions? (case: development project)
5 Week 5: Baselines and methods: design considerations Assessment 3 (i): proposal for SIA evaluation
6 Week 6: SIA in a market context (Keith Barney: timber certification) Assessment 2: Role play
7 Week 7: Safeguards: What is the role of safeguards in SIA? (case: Lower Sesan II dam) Assessment 2: Role play
8 Week 8: Assessing gendered impacts (Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt: extractive industries) Assessment 2: Role play
9 Week 7: Monitoring and Evaluation (Rob Bray: cashless welfare in indigenous communities) Assessment 1 (ii): Portfolio Submission #2
10 Week 10: Analysing impact pathways and risks (case: Canberra light rail)
11 Week 11: How can we assess interactions between different change processes (or cumulative impacts)? (case: extractive industries)
12 Week 12: What can we take away about the limitations of SIA and areas for further development? Assessment 1 (iii): Portfolio Submission #3
13 Exam week Assessment 3 (ii)

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Learning portfolio (25%) 25 % 16/08/2020 28/11/2020 Outcomes 1 and 2
Terms of Reference for a SIA (20%) 20 % 01/10/2020 28/11/2020 Outcomes 3 and 4
SIA evaluation (45%) 45 % 30/08/2020 28/11/2020 Outcomes 3 and 4
Engagement 10 % 29/10/2020 28/11/2020 Outcome 4

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 16/08/2020
Return of Assessment: 28/11/2020
Learning Outcomes: Outcomes 1 and 2

Learning portfolio (25%)

Submission dates, assessment requirements and rubrics are on the course wattle site. The portfolio will include 4 weekly reflections (due weeks 3 and 9); and an end-of-course reflection piece (due week 12):

(i) First weekly reflection (5%; 300 words; Due week 3: 16-08-2020).

(ii) Second weekly reflection (15%; 300 words each; Due by week 9: 11-10-2020)

(iii)Final course reflection (5% 500 words; Due week 12: 1-11-2020)

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 01/10/2020
Return of Assessment: 28/11/2020
Learning Outcomes: Outcomes 3 and 4

Terms of Reference for a SIA (20%)

Submission dates and rubrics are on the course wattle site. In groups, students will participate in a role play related to a social impact assessment process. This task includes a group-designed presentation (10%; group grade; 1 October class workshop) and individual contribution to a class debrief (10%; online forum 1-10-2020 to 8-10-2020 ).

Assessment Task 3

Value: 45 %
Due Date: 30/08/2020
Return of Assessment: 28/11/2020
Learning Outcomes: Outcomes 3 and 4

SIA evaluation (45%)

See course wattle site for assignment details and rubrics.

(i) Brief case study proposal (5%; 300 words, due week 5: 30-8-2020).

(ii) SIA evaluation study (40%; 2,500 words; due week 13: 8-11-2020 (40%).

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 29/10/2020
Return of Assessment: 28/11/2020
Learning Outcomes: Outcome 4


This component assesses student engagement in course discussions and group learning activities.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Prof Sango Mahanty
02 6125 8058

Research Interests


Prof Sango Mahanty

Tuesday 15:00 17:00
Prof Sango Mahanty
6125 8058

Research Interests

Prof Sango Mahanty

Tuesday 15:00 17:00

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