Efficacy of Strategic Environmental Assessment in Canada
Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) has been practiced in Canada since the early 1970s. However, its added value to policies plans and programs (PPPs) has yet to be fully realized. Consequently, many planners and decision makers are skeptical about the benefits of SEA, in part because of the lack of cases to indicate its added value to PPP development or downstream assessment. Much of the SEA evaluation research to date has focused on the procedural requirements and process elements of SEA rather than on its outputs and outcomes. The overall purpose of this research was to examine the efficacy of SEA and “SEA like” processes in Canada. The research examined how SEA practices have influenced PPP development, decision-making and subsequent actions in Canada. Data were collected using SEA efficacy evaluation criteria through semi-structured interviews with experts and non-experts across Canada based on their experience with and perspectives on the ‘impact’ of SEA. There has not been any study into the efficacy of SEA that is based on its added value. Most studies so far have focused on SEA inputs and process rather than outputs and broader outcomes in Canada. This research contributed not only to SEA efficacy studies, but also to improved SEA application and value added for PPP development in Canada.
strategic environmental assessment, efficacy, evaluation criteria, policies, plans and programs.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
Geography and Planning