Measuring the social and economic impacts of oil and gas developments: Baseline data research in the Inuvialuit region.
The Inuvialuit Baseline Indicators project has been a collaborative effort between the Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic (ReSDA), Arctic Social Indicators (ASI) projects and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC). The goal of the Inuvialuit Baseline Indicators (IBI) project is to develop a set of measurable, reliable and accessible indicators to monitor socio-economic conditions in the ISR with an emphasis on tracking impacts of resource development. The effort is focused on creating a framework to be used by local actors to collect, manage and analyze community-based data.
An initial workshop was held in Yellowknife in September 2011 to discuss impacts of developments and identify social and economic indicators that could be used to measure these impacts.
|Inuvialuit perspective on social and economic monitoring
Bob Simpson & Simon Routh, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
|Data and Discussion
Jill Herbert, NWT Bureau of Statistics
|Arctic Social Indicators (ASI)
♦ Joan Nymand Larsen, Stefansson Arctic Institute, Akureyri, Iceland
♦ Gail Fondahl, University of Northern BC
♦ Peter Schweitzer, University of Alaska Fairbanks
|ASI II Implementation: The Northwest Territories Andrey Petrov, Arctic Social and Environmental Systems Research Lab, University of Northern Iowa,||Analyzing indicators for small northern places
Larry Hamilton, University of New Hampshire
- Andrey Petrov, University of Northern Iowa
- Bob Simpson, Simon Routh and Stephanie Irlbacher-Fox, Inuvialuit Regional Corporation
- Philip Cavin, University of North Iowa
- Chris Southcott, Lakehead University / Yukon College
- Gail Fondahl, University of Northern British Columbia (Project Co-lead)
- Joan Nymand-Larsen, University of Akureyri (Project Co-lead)
- Birger Poppel, Ilisimatusarfik, Greenland
- Peter Schweitzer, University of Alaska Fairbanks
In the initial stages of ReSDA one of the main types of research questions of subprojects to be examined will be effective mechanisms to measure the impact of resource development on Arctic communities. This objective links to the work of previous initiatives such as Arctic Observation Network – Social Indicators (AON-SI) and the Arctic Social Indicators (ASI) project which attempt to find a series of indicators that would allow for an evaluation of impacts of social change in general. Building on the work of these earlier initiatives, one of the first areas that ReSDA is supporting is an attempt to respond to one of the main conclusions of the ASI project: the need for in depth case studies of the practical development and use of baseline indicators to measure social change in the North. Working with the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC), ReSDA researchers will examine a range of baseline indicators including a series of in-house ICR research initiatives, in an attempt to develop a series of practical indicators to measure resource development impacts.
Through in-house research the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC) has accumulated a considerable amount of social, cultural and economic data that can be used to measure the impacts of oil and gas spending in the region from 1999 to 2009 (Inuvialuit Regional Corporation Indicators Research Project). The IRC continues to use this data to measure social, cultural and economic conditions and resource development impacts and is making this data available to researchers working with the Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic (ReSDA) project. The IRC will work with these researchers in their attempts to develop reliable baseline indicators to measure social change in areas affected by natural resource development. The research will establish standards to measure resource development impacts in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, and may be used by other Arctic jurisdictions.
This project will begin by having a workshop in Yellowknife Sept. 18-19, 2011. This workshop will be the first step in developing an initial research agenda for ReSDA’s baseline indicators research. The workshop will start with a description of past data work, current data sources and present and future data needs from the perspective of the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation on the morning of Sept. 18. This will be followed by a brief summary of the relevant aspects of work by the ASI project. During the remainder of the afternoon and early morning of Sept. 19 researchers will be asked to comment on the past data work, current data sources and present and future data needs of the IRC. The objectives of these comments are to develop an adequate set of social indicators that can be used to measure change in Arctic communities from the perspective of resource development impacts. Researchers will be asked specifically to 1) outline strength and weaknesses of existing data sources 2) suggest possible improvements to existing data sources and/or suggest new data sources and 3) discuss relevance to what is happening in other regions of the Arctic.
Under this project, the researchers will participate in the existing International Social Indicators Project team in order to find different ways to measure the impacts of resource development in northern communities. This will include developing and testing new indicators, as well as evaluating existing ones.
Two reports were submitted to the IRC in Fall 2014. The project is in the planning stages for the next phase of the study.
PART 1: Inuvialuit Settlement Region Baseline Social Indicators: A Pilot Study by ReSDA
PART 2: ReSDA Resource Development Impacts Scan (ReDIS) Indicators for the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR)
Developing Inuvialuit Baseline Indicators System for (Self)Monitoring Community Well-Being and Impacts of Resource Development.
The Inuvialuit Baseline Indicators project is a collaborative effort between Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic (ReSDA), Arctic Social Indicators (ASI) projects and the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation (IRC). The goal of the Inuvialuit Baseline Indicators (IBI) project is to develop a set of measurable, reliable and accessible indicators to monitor socio-economic conditions in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) with an emphasis on tracking impacts of resource development. This effort is focused on creating a framework to be used by local actors to collect, manage and analyze community-based data.
The Inuvialuit region has been affected by a number of resource boom cycles associated with the resource activities in the Mackenzie Delta and more recently in the Beaufort Sea. The IRC created as a result of the Inuvialuit Comprehensive Land Claim Agreement has been collecting and publishing selected socio-economic data to aid in decision-making process and provide public access to IRC members. Given a growing interest in Arctic resources within the ISR, IRC engaged in collaboration with a social impacts monitoring team of polar scientists to develop a system of indicators based on past experiences in ISR and across the Arctic, local relevance and data availability.
The objectives of the IBI project include (1) using ASI circumpolar framework of social indicators provide a background baseline analysis of IRC socioeconomic characteristics in comparison with Northwest Territories (NWT), Inuit regions of Canada/USA, and other circumpolar jurisdictions; (2) using ASI experience and community consultations identify more relevant domains that are to be included in to the socioeconomic monitoring system (3) define baseline indicators suitable for monitoring socio-economic conditions and impacts of resource development in ISR; (4) develop procedures that will enable community-based collection, management, and analysis of data by local actors; (5) collect necessary data and expand IRC database; (6) develop and disseminate Inuvialuit Baseline Indicators data and analysis to inform region’s stakeholders and aid in IRC’s decision making and ensure community awareness.
The first stage of the project was to analyze of ISR socio-economic well-being using established indicators framework developed by the ASI under the auspice of the Arctic Council. The assessment was conducted for six domains: health and population, material well-being, cultural vitality, closeness to nature, education, and fate control. The analysis revealed considerable internal differences within ISR, especially between Inuvik and other communities. On most indicators ISR was better off than other NWT regions (unemployment, engagement in traditional activities, land claim status and fate control) or close to average (incomes, dependency on government transfers, consumption of county food, education). IRS fared worse than other NWT regions in respect to language retention and out-migration rates. In comparison with Inuit communities in Nunavut, ISR had generally higher level of material well-being, but demonstrated very low language retention, low on consumption of traditional food, and inferior fate control status. The long-term trends (between 1986 and 2010) were positive for several indicators, such as participation rate, educational attainment, housing, teen birth, engagement in hunting and fishing, and negative for crime, ability to speak mother tongue, and dependency on income support, among others. The analysis shows that although ISR appears to maintain relatively high levels of socio-economic well-being across most of the six domains, it still faces considerable social challenges and has to deal with severe interregional inequalities.