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Assessing the social impact of iskandar malaysia development
Assessing The Social Impact Of
Iskandar Malaysia Development
Background of Study
• Iskandar Malaysia has brought in a total new investments for the year
2014 at RM14.56 billion, as a corridor that is growing as rapidly as
this, the social aspect around the development area is vital to support
the sustainability and prosperity of the development (Roseland, 2000)
• It is important to get the development to be socially prolific for it to
be the growth driver for Johor
• Social factors are important to be studied because according to
Esteves & Vanclay (2009) the study of social impact is one way to find
out what actually happens to people due to development, and to
become aware of needs and changes that require attention of the
• Increased impacts lead many people to reconsider their opinions,
leading to considerable anxiety at a local level (Voort & Vanclay,
2015), which is useful for the people of Iskandar Malaysia to be a part
of this study as it helps them to be aware of the current situation of
• Since Iskandar Malaysia’s launch in 2006, there are 4 phases in the total
projected 20 years development; being in the 2nd phase (2011 to 2015)
now, Iskandar Malaysia has progressed rapidly, with several key
developments completed and many more nearing completion (IRDA,
• Interested members of the public, such as decision-makers and developers,
want to know what happens to people due to development (Potter et al.,
• With these large amounts of capital that has been invested and causing Iskandar
Malaysia landscape changed tremendously in three keys area which are social, economic
and environment and these need to be balanced it is important for a sustainable future
• Two main pillars of Iskandar Malaysia's economy are services and manufacturing, where
services sector contribute about MYR 36.34 billion (35 %); the services sector are:
Wholesale & Retail trade (42.2%), Tourism (16.8%), Professional & Business (14.6%),
Transport & Related (12.7%), Medical & Educational (6.7%), Financial (6.6%).
• From an economics point of view, the initiative of development is to improve the well-
being of people. However, development does not promise improvement or changes
(Barrow, 2010), this statement is supported by Cowen & Shenton (1996) which
commented that though the intention of development is to look forward to a positive
outcome, it does not happen in that way all the time
• Setbacks or catastrophic failures might happen, and it might worsen the quality of life of
individuals and communities affected by development (Chambers, 2005; Stern et al.,
• In much of the debate about the effects of economic development, social
impacts on the communities livelihoods becomes the topic of concern
(Ravallion & Walle, 2008; Turner, 2004).
• It is therefore essential to decision-makers to know what kind of social
impact might happen as a consequence of development, and which kinds
of developments are positive or negative, intended or unintended and
direct or indirect for different individuals or social institutions (Potter et al.,
2008; Walker, 2010).
• A lot of the times, community expectations and demands are not met
when a certain area is developed because of many ill-prepared
developments which is due to the absence of governance work in
managing social impacts (Esteves et al., 2012; Everingham, 2012; Ivanova
et al., 2007; Kemp, 2011; Lockie et al., 2008; Rolfe et al., 2007; Solomon et
• Iskandar Malaysia is an important area to study, as Malaysia aims to attain a developed nation
status by achieving a self-sufficient industrialized nation under the vision 2020 and this will help
to achieve that
• Being in Malaysia, globalisation is achieved through top-down national policies (Rizzo & Glasson,
2011; Bunnel, 2002)
• As a growth driver in Johor, Iskandar Malaysia has a wide variety of developments that would
enable it to sustain it economically and even though the economic side is maintained by the
steady flow of investment towards the region but the social and the environment aspects have
also to be balanced in ensuring a sustainable development
• Social aspect is commonly assessed through social impact study known as Social impact
Assessment (SIA) which finds out what actually happens to people due to these developments,
and also to become aware of needs and changes that require attention (Esteves & Vanclay, 2009)
• The study can help decision-makers to design better development strategies for attaining
desirable outcomes, avoid repeating mistakes, and minimizing negative impacts (Burdge, 1995;
Gârboan, 2005; Potter et al., 2008).
• There are several studies on Iskandar Malaysia such as Rizzo & Glasson
(2012), Ho, Matsuoka, Simson & Gomi (2013), Rabe, Osman & Bachok
(2014) and Osman, Bachok & Rabe (2015) but predominantly these studies
only focuses on the economic side of Iskandar Malaysia while forgetting its
• Until now, no study regarding social aspects of Iskandar Malaysia has been
reported so this study will attempt to investigate the social changes that
have been brought out by economic components of Iskandar Malaysia
• Seven social change processes proposed by Vanclay (2002) will be adapted
in this study
• This study will explore each of the processes through questionnaire survey
to analyse which of the processes are dominantly affecting the social
changes in the selected area of the study.
Research Questions + Objectives
a) What planned intervention is the most dominant in Iskandar Malaysia
b) What dimensions of social change processes plays the critical role in facilitating changes in Iskandar Malaysia
c) What are the drivers of social change in Iskandar Malaysia
d) What type of social impacts are apparent in Iskandar Malaysia
• The primary goal of this research is to this research aims to assess the social impact in Iskandar Malaysia. To achieve that,
these set of objectives is necessary to be achieved:
a) To identify the most dominant planned intervention in Iskandar Malaysia
b) To evaluate most dominant social change processes of Iskandar Malaysia
c) To assess the social impact of Iskandar Malaysia planned intervention
• Social change is the transformation of culture and social organisation/structure over time and we are aware
that society is never static, and that social, political, economic and cultural changes occur constantly.
• There are four main characteristics of social change according to Macionis, 1996:
• Social change happens everywhere, but the rate of change varies from place to place
• Secondly, Social change is sometimes intentional but often unplanned.
• Thirdly, social change often generates controversy.
• So what causes social change? Throughout the years of discussions on social changes, there are various
causes of social change. Some of the causes are culture is a system that constantly loses and gains
components. There are three main sources of cultural change.
• The first source is invention. Inventions produce new products, ideas, and social patterns. The invention of
rocket propulsion led to space travel, which in the future may lead to inhabitation of other planets.
• The second source is discovery, which is finding something that has never been found before, or finding
something new in something that already exists.
• The third source is diffusion which is the spreading of ideas and objects to other societies. This would involve
trading, migration, and mass communication.
Social Change Processes (SCP)
• It is impossible to identify all social change processes that could occur in any given project or amongst a
range of projects and to particularly identify all the background social change processes that are taking place
• While there are many social change processes, part of the problem of identification is also a lack of clarity
about what exactly constitutes a social change process, and the level of detail at which these processes
should be specified. Below are some examples of the social change processes that are important in SIA.
• This list is not complete, it is simply an indicative list of examples of social change processes. It is likely,
however, that the categorisation of social change processes into a number of groupings of social change
processes is appropriate and likely to be robust across a range of situations.
• The social change processes are likely to comprise the following groupings:
1. Demographic processes (changes in the number and composition of people);
2. Economic processes (relating to the way in which people make a living and economic activity in the society);
3. Geographical processes (changes in land use patterns);
4. Institutional and legal processes (relating to the efficiency and effective- ness of institutional structures including
government and nongovernment organisations);
5. Emancipatory and empowerment processes (increasing influence in decision making processes);
6. Sociocultural processes (affecting the culture of a society); and
7. Other processes.
3. Presence of newcomers.
4. Presence of (temporary) construction workers.
5. Presence of seasonal residents.
6. Presence of weekenders.
7. Presence of tourists and day-trippers.
9. Displacement and dispossession
10. Rural-to-urban migration.
11. Urban-to-rural migration.
1. Conversion and diversification of economic activities.
4. Currency exchange fluctuation (devaluation).
5. Concentration of economic activity
6. Economic globalisation
1. Conversion and diversification of land use.
2. Urban sprawl
5. Enhanced transportation and rural accessibility
6. Physical splintering
Institutional and legal processes
1. Institutional globalisation and centralisation.
Emancipatory and empowerment processes
2. Marginalisation and exclusion
3. Capacity building
2. Social disintegration
3. Cultural differentiation
• The list of social change process given above is not intended to be complete and, in fact, it is argued that no list could ever
• New technologies and new social phenomenon continuously occur, and it is impossible to predict them and their likely
• For example, 20 years ago (and maybe even 10 years ago), who could have predicted the social impact of the Internet? It is
always important to be aware that new processes are always potentially arising and that SIA theory and practice must
never become stagnant.
• It is also clear that processes are not uniquely definable, conceptually clear, or mutually exclusive phenomena.
• They are theoretical constructions that provide explanation for what the observer is seeking to describe or explain. Thus,
the types of processes identified by a particular theorist is linked to the purposes, objectives, and interests of the observer.
• There are different levels at which social processes can be described.
• Some social processes are macroprocesses that entail many other processes. For example, in the SIA literature, there is
often discussion of normalisation (see inter alia Brealey et al., 1988)—the process by which boomtowns become
• This is, in fact, a complex process that involves many subordinate changes, including demographic changes, economic
changes, geographical changes, institutional and legal changes, sociocultural changes, and quite possibly emancipatory
changes as well.
• Armour (1990):
• People’s way of life—how they live, work, play, and interact with one another on a day-to-day basis;
• Their culture—shared beliefs, customs, and values;
• Their community—its cohesion, stability, character, services, and facilities.
• Vanclay (1999), expanding Armour’s list, has identified the following as important:
• People’s way of life—that is, how they live, work, play, and interact with one another on a day-to-day basis;
• Their culture—that is, their shared beliefs, customs, values, and language or dialect;
• Their community—its cohesion, stability, character, services, and facilities;
• Their political systems—the extent to which people are able to participate in decisions that affect their lives, the level of
democratisation that is taking place, and the resources provided for this purpose;
• Their environment—the quality of the air and water that people use; the availability and quality of the food that they eat; the level of
hazard or risk, dust, and noise in which they are exposed to; the adequacy of sanitation, their physical safety, and their access to and
control over resources;
• Their health and well-being—where ‘health’ is understood in a manner similar to the World Health Organisation definition: ‘‘a state
of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’’;
• Their personal and property rights—particularly whether people are economically affected, or experience personal disadvantage,
which may include a violation of their civil liberties; and
• Their fears and aspirations—their perceptions about their safety, their fears about the future of their community, and their
aspirations for their future and the future of their children.
Social Impact Variables and Concepts
• Social change processes need to be differentiated from social impacts that are experienced or felt in corporeal or perceptual terms.
• The SIA literature has confused impacts and social change processes.
• It should be noted very strongly that this is not a checklist of possible impacts of any particular project, nor is it a list of variables or indicators.
• As repeatedly indicated, checklist thinking does not encourage the analytical thinking about the impact causing mechanisms that lead to impacts,
especially the second- and higher-order impacts, and the indirect impacts.
• The variables that are important must be locally defined, and there may be local considerations that a generic listing does not adequately represent.
• The concepts that are presented are dimensions of the individual, family, community, and societal experience of social impacts and vary in their
specificity. Some are macroconcepts that may be difficult to measure, while others may lend themselves to operational definition, variable creation,
and measurement easily. For the purposes of this paper, however, the intention was only to expand or broaden the understanding of social impacts.
• Social impacts must be experienced or felt. To be true to the broad definition of SIA used (i.e. Vanclay’s, 2002 definition), the list of impacts must
potentially be capable of addressing positive benefits, as well as negative ones. In addition, because social impacts (that is, all impacts on humans)
cover a wide variety of issues, the list must be broad. Some impacts are experienced at the level of an individual, other impacts are experienced at the
level of a family or household unit, and other impacts are experienced by social organisations, institutions, or a community or society as a whole.
• Some impacts are corporeal—that is, felt by the body as physical reality other impacts are perceptual or emotional. Some macrolevel impacts are
quite removed from individuals but nonetheless are important social impacts.
• The conceptualisation of social impacts has been divided into seven categories. The categorisation is intended to provide a general grouping to assist
in thinking about the range of impacts. It is accepted that others may well group impacts in different ways.
Indicative health and social well being impacts
Indicative quality of the living environment
Indicative economic impacts and material well
Social Impact Assessment (SIA)
• Social Impact Assessment (SIA) does not have any clear definition (Brouwer &
• Vanclay (2002, p. 388), defines SIA in the following manner:
• “Social impact assessment is the process of analysing (predicting,
evaluating and reflecting)and managing the intended and unintended
consequences on the human environment of planned interventions (policies,
programs, plans, projects) and any social change processes invoked by those
interventions so as to bring about a more sustainable and equitable
biophysical and human environment.”
• Goodland (2000, p. 12) writes:
• “SIA is more than a technique or step, rather, it is a philosophy about
development and democracy. As such, ideally it considers pathologies of
development (i.e. harmful impacts), goals of development (such as poverty
alleviation), and processes of development (e.g. participation, capacity
Integrated framework for environmental and
social impact assessment.
Social Impacts (=ve/-
• Phase 1: Identify Planned Intervention
• Phase 2: Explore Social Change Processes
• Phase 3: Determining Social Impact
• Phase 4: Predict Connections between Planned Intervention, Social
Change Processes & Social Impacts
• Phase 5: Predict Change Impacts On People And Community