Tuesday, 4 October 2022

'We the Power' documentary screening and discussion on Community Energy in Malta

As part of Global Climate Change Week 2022, Friends of the Earth Malta (FoEM) and the Malta Sociological Association (MSA) are organising a documentary screening and discussion on the topic of community energy. The film 'We the Power' by Patagonia, chronicles local energy cooperatives as they pave the way for a renewable energy revolution and build healthier, more resilient communities.

After the film we will have a discussion on community energy in Malta, with the participation of Dr Antonia Proka from REScoop.eu, the European federation of citizen energy cooperatives, Mr Adrian Spiteri, Finance Director at AQS Med, a local renewable energy company, Dr Michael Briguglio (MSA), and Dr Suzanne Maas (FoEM). Questions, thoughts and comments from the audience are encouraged for an engaging debate.

📆 13th October │ 18:00 - 20:00

📍 British Legion Bar, Valletta 👉https://goo.gl/maps/gyzPxjpbQFarqV2g9

Entry is free, with some refreshments provided.

🤳 Registration required 👉https://foemalta.org/event/com

Facebook event page: https://fb.me/e/4Uge7GJvs

Friday, 16 September 2022

MSA feedback to public consultation: Construction of an Organic Processing Plant in Malta. Site at ECOHIVE Complex, Naxxar

 Date: 13 October 2022

From: Malta Sociological Association 

To:   Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise
(Environment & Resources Authority) 

Re: EA/00019/22 – Construction of an Organic Processing Plant in Malta. Site at ECOHIVE Complex, Naxxar

Link: https://era.org.mt/era-project/ea00019-22/

 

With reference to the consultation in question, the Malta Sociological Association (registered VO 1323) proposes that the policy process employs a social impact assessment process.

 

The International Principles for Social Impact Assessment defines SIA as being “the processes of analysing, monitoring and managing the intended and unintended social consequences, both positive and negative, of planned interventions (policies, programs, plans, projects) and any social change processes invoked by those interventions”.

 

An SIA is an interdisciplinary process, and should employ various methods, both quantitative and qualitative. Social impact assessments should not be one-off exercises: To the contrary, they should be ongoing processes which engage with various stakeholders and which report back so as to ensure effective policy processes.

 

In this regard, you may refer to international SIA standards, for example those set by the International Association for Impact Assessment, which is accessible from this link:

 

https://www.socialimpactassessment.com/documents/IAIA%202015%20Social%20Impact%20Assessment%20guidance%20document.pdf  

 

Reference: Frank Vanclay (2003) International Principles For Social Impact Assessment, Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 21:1, 5-12, DOI: 10.3152/147154603781766491

Thursday, 11 August 2022

MSA Summer Social Event


To register please email MSA at maltasociologicalcassociation@gmail.com
 


Thursday, 7 July 2022

A Social Vision for Malta 2035 - Malta Sociological Association feedback

 MSA feedback to public consultation: A Social Vision for Malta 2035

 TO: research.rpod@gov.mt  

Research and Evaluation Unit, Research, Policy and Operations Division,

Ministry for Social Policy and Children’s Rights (MSPC),

 

 

The Malta Sociological Association welcomes the policy process leading towards a Social Vision for Malta 2035. In this regard, would like to make the following proposals:

1.       Malta’s social vision should mainstream regular social impact assessments across all policy levels, across the board.  SIAs should also be an integral part of the monitoring process of this vision, and in particular of the mid-term evaluation report.

 Various methods, both quantitative and qualitative could be used within social impact assessments.  SIAs should involve the participation of different stakeholders. Analytic indicators should be provided, and the entire process should be subject to peer review by independent experts in the field. This could help identify shortcomings and possible improvements to the same SIA. SIAs should not be one-off exercises: They should be ongoing processes which engage with various stakeholders and which report back so as to ensure effective policy processes. They should also use complementary research methods so as to ensure reliable and valid data. We refer to international SIA standards, for example those set by the International Association for Impact Assessment:


 https://www.socialimpactassessment.com/documents/IAIA%202015%20Social%20Impact%20Assessment%20guidance%20document.pdf  

 

2.      The Social Vision needs to factor-in the impacts of current and possible future contexts and situations which may result in new opportunities, risks, challenges, vulnerabilities and precariousness. Presently, these include Climate Change, Covid-19. the invasion of Ukraine, and the gig economy.

3.      The Social Vision needs to dovetail with other policy priorities at global, European, national and local levels, such as the EU Green Deal.

 4.      The Social Vision needs to factor in Malta’s status as a small-island state and related factors such as hyper-personalisation, patronage, stigma and community.

5.      Investment in professionals and workers working across the various fields of social policy, should be strengthened. Workers who are not unionised should not be excluded from such investment, and special attention should be made to combat precariousness.

 6.      The roles of local communities, the voluntary sector, civil society, NGOs, and social movements should be acknowledged and factored-in across the board.

 7.      Evidence-based policy making should be the guiding thread across the board, before other considerations such as a-priori ideological judgements on issues and policy prescriptions. Academia and the research community should play an integral part in the policy-making process.

8.     Local and regional governments should have stronger roles in social policy, particularly in matters related to public space, accessibility, community life and local development.

Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Interconnector between Malta and Sicily: MSA feedback to public consultation

 A/00018/21 – Second electrical interconnector between Malta and Sicily

Ministry: Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise  

To :EIA Team Environment & Resources Authority eia.malta@era.org.mt 

The Malta Sociological Association (MSA)  MSA is proposing that a social impact assessment (SIA) takes place on this proposal. Various methods, both quantitative and qualitative could be used within social impact assessments.  SIAs should involve the participation of different stakeholders. Analytic indicators should be provided and the entire process should be subject to peer review by independent experts in the field. This could help identify shortcomings and possible improvements to the same SIA. SIAs should not be one-off exercises: They should be ongoing processes which engage with various stakeholders and which report back so as to ensure effective policy processes. They should also use complementary research methods so as to ensure reliable and valid data.

We refer to international SIA standards, for example those set by the International Association for Impact Assessment: 

 https://www.socialimpactassessment.com/documents/IAIA%202015%20Social%20Impact%20Assessment%20guidance%20document.pdf

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Animal by-product treatment facility - MSA feedback to public consultation

Re:  IP 00103/22 - An application for a new Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) permit in relation to the operation of an animal by-product treatment facility which involves a discharge of industrial effluent

To:: Ministry for the Environment, Energy and Enterprise -




The Malta Sociological Association (MSA)  MSA is proposing that a social impact assessment (SIA) takes place on this proposal. Various methods, both quantitative and qualitative could be used within social impact assessments.  SIAs should involve the participation of different stakeholders. Analytic indicators should be provided and the entire process should be subject to peer review by independent experts in the field. This could help identify shortcomings and possible improvements to the same SIA. SIAs should not be one-off exercises: They should be ongoing processes which engage with various stakeholders and which report back so as to ensure effective policy processes. They should also use complementary research methods so as to ensure reliable and valid data.

We refer to international SIA standards, for example those set by the International Association for Impact Assessment: 

 https://www.socialimpactassessment.com/documents/IAIA%202015%20Social%20Impact%20Assessment%20guidance%20document.pdf

Monday, 23 May 2022

Press Release: Gozo Airfield Public Consultation

The Malta Sociological Association (MSA) has submitted its official feedback to the Gozo Regional Development Authority regarding the Gozo Rural Airfield proposal. 


MSA notes that in section 6  ‘Potential Impacts and Benefits of the Proposed Intervention’, the document states that as regards ‘socio-economic impacts’, “To assess the expected socio-economic impacts and benefits of the proposed Airfield project, the Ministry for Gozo (proponent of the project) commissioned a Cost Benefits Analysis study.”. The findings of this study are then presented in two tables and six short paragraphs (  https://grda.mt/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Gozo-Airfield_Impact-Statement.pdf )


MSA holds that whilst a cost-benefits analysis study is a useful tool, provided it uses proper research methods and is peer-reviewed, in no way can this exercise be considered to provide an adequate social impact assessment.

MSA is therefore proposing that a social impact assessment (SIA) be commissioned on the development proposal.  The SIA should be carried out by qualified sociologists through an open public call.


Various methods, both quantitative and qualitative, should be used within the SIA, to provide reliable and valid data. It should involve the participation of different stakeholders. Analytic indicators should be provided and the entire process should be subject to peer review by independent experts in the field. This could help identify shortcomings and possible improvements to the same SIA.


The SIA should not be a one-off exercise. It should be ongoing processes which engage with various stakeholders, and which reports back so as to ensure effective policy processes.


MSA refers to international SIA standards, for example those set by the International Association for Impact Assessment: 

 https://www.socialimpactassessment.com/documents/IAIA%202015%20Social%20Impact%20Assessment%20guidance%20document.pdf


The MSA is at the disposal of the Gozo Regional Development Authority should it wish to discuss further.