FD2605 - Social justice in the context of flood and coastal erosion risk management: a review of policy and practice

Theme:Strategy and Policy Development
Project status:Completed
Start date:12/02/2007
End date:31/03/2008
  • Flood and Coastal Defence,
  • Policy Development,
  • Environmental Protection,
  • Land,
  • Flood Defence
  • University - Middlesex


he outputs will inform accounting for social justice concerns in FCERM. For example there must be an open and transparent account of the weight being applied to different social justice principles in policy, guidance and practice across the range of FCERM options; there needs to be a clear account of the trade-offs that are required in the balancing of requirements for national consistency with those for stakeholder engagement; and existing funding and appraisal models re-evaluated - particularly for those who have no equality of opportunity to access this decision process. The framework provides a mechanism for systematically identifying and evaluating social justice issues within decision-making processes and procedures. More importantly the review and evaluation of decision outcomes with a social justice ‘lens’ will illustrate how social justice concerns are embedded in decision outcomes. This will make social justice less of a theoretical concept but more tangible in terms of monitoring outcomes and policy measures.


This research aims to evaluate flood and coastal erosion decision-making in the context of social justice at all spatial scales; national, large scale, strategic and project. This will be achieved using the following four objectives: (1) to examine national policy in the context of social justice, (2) to examine planning tools and guidance in the context of social justice, (3) to provide insights into the attitudes of key stakeholders to the `fairness`, or otherwise, of current policy and practice, and (4) to provide insights into how different model(s) of social justice might inform future FCERM decision-making policy and practice. KEY


Providing a thorough review of the `fairness` of current/proposed policy and practice, together with potential insights and alternatives, will be highly valuable for all those responsible for decisions (e.g. Defra, EA, Operating Authorities etc.), and those affected by decision outcomes (e.g. at risk populations, insurers). The results of this research are expected to be used by Defra and the EA to evaluate their own decision rules and processes, and are also expected to provide a platform for thinking about future policy and guidance for flood and coastal erosion risk management.