To: Ministry for Education, Sport, Youth, Research and Innovation (Malta Further and Higher Education Authority)
With reference to the consultation in question and which can be accessed through this link, the Malta Sociological Association (registered VO 1323) has the following feedback:
The plan should:
1. Encourage all areas of knowledge, while supporting areas which are currently less developed.
2. Ensure quality of further and higher education with any measures undertaken.
3. Support internationalisation initiatives and exchanges.
4. Support private initiatives to foster, maintain and attract knowledge, and enhance public initiatives in this regard.
5. Promote the social relevance of all areas of knowledge, working with practitioners in the field.
To facilitate the above in terms of evidence-based policy making, the Malta Sociological Association proposes that the entire policy process employs a social impact assessment in an ongoing 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:
Reference: Frank Vanclay (2003) International Principles For Social Impact Assessment, Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal, 21:1, 5-a12, DOI: 1