Skip navigation
Journal article

Impact assessment and indigenous self-determination: a scalar framework of participation options

What options are there for Indigenous Peoples to take part in impact assessments? This paper offers a scalar framework of options.

Rasmus Kløcker Larsen / Published on 23 October 2017

Read the paper  Closed access


Larsen, R. K. (2018). Impact assessment and indigenous self-determination: a scalar framework of participation options. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 36(3). 208–19.

The implementation of the right of indigenous peoples to participate in impact assessment (IA) has moved rapidly in many jurisdictions. To facilitate comparative learning, this paper offers a scalar framework of participation options through standard IA phases and examines five IA regimes in Sweden, Norway, Canada, Australia, and Aotearoa/New Zealand.

The paper shows how practice is moving toward co-management and community-owned IA, with developments driven by strong indigenous demands and political recognition of material rights to lands and resources. Yet while influence in IA has allowed for shaping project outcomes it has rarely supported the rejection of unwanted projects altogether. Moreover, some jurisdictions, such as Scandinavia, retain a much more limited consultation and notification approach.

Community influence tends to be in the area of generating evidence and follow-up, while developers or state authorities retain control over decisive phases of scoping and determining significance. The authors argue that indigenous participation is most meaningful through IA co-management that takes place directly with the state and throughout all IA phases, complemented with strategic community-owned IA.

Read the paper

Closed access

SEI author

Rasmus Kløcker Larsen
Rasmus Kløcker Larsen

Team Leader: Rights and Equity

SEI Headquarters

Read the paper
To journal Closed access
Topics and subtopics
Governance : Participation
Related centres
SEI Headquarters

Design and development by Soapbox.