Evaluating strategic environmental assessment in the Netherlands: Content, process and procedure as indissoluble criteria for effectiveness

  • van Buuren A
  • Nooteboom S
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Abstract

To assess the effectiveness of strategic environmental assessment (SEA) we distinguish between its contribution to the quality of the ultimate policy choice (usefulness, applicability), the procedural quality of the planning process (transparency, timeliness) and the quality of stakeholder participation in the planning process (openness, equity, dialogue). In the context of two case studies involving Dutch planning practice, we argue that when and how an SEA is applied is crucial to understanding its effectiveness, and show that effectiveness depends upon its alignment with, and embedding in, the planning process.
To assess the effectiveness of strategic environmental assessment (SEA) we distinguish between its contribution to the quality of the ultimate policy choice (usefulness, applicability), the procedural quality of the planning process (transparency, timeliness) and the quality of stakeholder participation in the planning process (openness, equity, dialogue). In the context of two case studies involving Dutch planning practice, we argue that when and how an SEA is applied is crucial to understanding its effectiveness, and show that effectiveness depends upon its alignment with, and embedding in, the planning process.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Content
  • Controversial planning
  • Decision-making procedures
  • Effectiveness
  • Process
  • SEA

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Authors

  • Arwin van Buuren

  • Sibout Nooteboom

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