I was one of many participants in a meeting organized by the Biosafety Unit at the UNEP Division of Global Enviornment Facility (UNEP-GEF) and the CBD Secretariat in 2008. This meeting convened a panel of experts that also included Rosa Luz Gonzalez Aguirre (UAM-Mexico), Michelle Chauvet-Sanchez (La Universidad Nacional Autónoma, Mexico), Elena Lazos Chavero (UNAM-Mexico), Amanda Gálvez Mariscal (UNAM-Mexico), Anthony La Vina (Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines), and others. We  compiled an extensive (but still partial) list of the potential methods and approaches that could be used for the assessment of socio-economic considerations. Note that this list is actually a mix of qualitative and/or quantitative list of data collection, assessment, and analysis methods and approaches.

The next step after this initial exercise is mapping the methods/approaches to the issues and to clearly identify the feasibility, data requirements, limitations, and benefits for all of the elements in this list. This exercise still remains to be done by the expert community. This mapping would provide useful information for countries deciding on the framework for and the implementation of socio-economic considerations in their decision making.

The present list compiled by the expert group in Mexico is not a check list, that is, this is not a list of steps that have to be met to conduct a socio-economic assessment. It is rather a portfolio of methods from which countries, decision makers, and practitioners may pick and choose for potential use in their deliberations.

A final step would be the discussion on how to integrate the results from the socio-economics assessments into a decision-making process that also considers food/feed and environmental safety assessments, and in some cases, may even consider broader ethical, cultural and aesthetic issues.

Economic Cost/Benefit and Models

  • Identification of stakeholders  (Social Network Analysis)
  • Microeconomic models (household, community)
  • Global and/or economy wide models (CGE)
  • Policy analysis
  • Social Accounting Matrixees (SAM)
  • Systemic Relevance Assessment (SRA)

Social Impact Assessment

  • Identification of stakeholders (Social Network Analysis)
  • Demographic Analysis
  • Social Returns on Investment (RSOI)
  • Rapid Rural Development Appraisal
  • Poverty and Social Impact Assessment (PSIA)
  • Policy analysis
  • Theory of Change
  • Health and safety
  • Gender and generational
  • Mitigation Measures
  • Conflict / violence resolution
  • Systemic Relevance Assessment (SRA)

Sustainable Livelihoods Framework

  •  Traditional knowledge – Inventory & Diagnostic
  • Traditional knowledge – Theory of Change
  • Sacred sites
  • Customary law and protocols
  • Community institutions and regulations
  • Cultural heritage impact assessment
  • Rituals, ceremonies , myths and community festivities
  • Gender and generational analysis
  • Conflict / violence resolution

Participatory Research

  •  Town Meetings
  • Jury Citizens
  • Consensus Conference
  • Deliberate Polling
  • Expert /Leader Panel
  • Focus Groups
  • Technology Festival
  • Scenario Building Exercise