A Human Dimensions Framework: Guidelines for Conducting Social Assessments

Short Description

Human Dimensions FrameworkThe Human Dimensions Framework (HDF) guidelines has two purposes:

  1. presenting a fremwork for identifying and organizing human dimensions information
  2. providing guidance for using the HDF based on conducting a social assessment to aid land managers

The framework relies on primary data about community values and perceptions as well as secondary data collected through various surveys. The information is brought together from a variety of social science disciplines and then categorized into basic social dimensions concepts. These concepts are connected with measurable indicators to better understand the social context. The paper is organized with the first portion discussing the nature of ecosystems, their management, role of social assessments, and the parts of the framework. The second part details the necessary data collection, and is particularly useful for forest planners, team leaders, and individuals responsible for conducting social assessments for places of interest. The end goal is for the land manger to: contribute to the decision making process for type of data needed and appropriate collection methods, participate in the data collection process, and consult a listing for additional social science data collection techniques or consult regional social science coordinators for additional appropriate methods.

Related Partners

The Forest Service was established in 1905 and is an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Forest Service manages public lands in national forests and grasslands, which encompass 193 million acres.

Suggested Citation

Bright, Alan D.; Cordell, H. Ken; Hoover, Anne P.; Tarrant, Michael A2003A Human Dimensions Framework: Guidelines for Conducting Social AssessmentsGen. Tech. Rep. SRS-65. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 83 p.