Enhanced Summaries: A Quantitative Analysis of the Effects of Readability on Regulators in Environmental Impact Assessment
41 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2022
Currently, regulators must read and understand environmental impact assessment summaries written in complex language. The public also suffers as a result of this, as they are unable to easily access the reports on projects that affect them, despite that putting the natural environment, health, and society at risk. By demonstrating the benefits to regulators, this research proposes a novel approach to the long-standing problem of enhancing the readability of environmental impact assessments. This study used a four-tiered methodology comprised a review of the literature, interviews, a questionnaire, and a quantitative experiment to assess regulators' reading performances. The findings were used to assess the system-relevance of summaries for regulators. The study examined how easily-read materials can help regulators spend less time on summaries. This research contributed to the development of categories of information that regulators need and desire in summary reports. This research made recommendations for how regulators might improve readability. The topic is timely, as it presents a socially and environmentally responsible alternative to simplification-driven EIA policy change. This research has established that regulators' support for enhanced summaries is in their best interests. This study is significant because it demonstrates how to conduct more efficient and effective environmental impact assessments.
Keywords: Environmental impact assessment, Readability, Efficiency, Communication, Participation, Summary
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