This is Danya’s final post on the HSAL peer review process.
There are many positive aspects of a peer review process that I previously presented in my last three blog posts. However, there are also some areas that should be seen as a caution for any organization wishing to sponsor a peer review process.
The primary issue that faces a peer review process is cost. Peer reviews for most projects can be scoped to the review of certain reports at a specific period of time. In many cases for smaller projects, it is easy to set a defined scope and corresponding budget. However, for more complex projects that may require an ongoing peer review element, costs will reflect any considerable amount of work to be done.
A second issue involves stakeholder/resident trust and credibility in the peer review process. In our experience, there appears to be a general acceptance of the peer review comments we have put forth to our clients, but not all stakeholders or local residents may agree with our findings and recommendations. For these people (which are usually few and far between), additional information from a peer review team is not likely to be influential.
Regardless of any issues that may arise during a peer review process, we believe that if you effectively manage the ‘people aspects’ of a peer reivew process, this can assist in building transparency and trust in all Project activities. Furthermore, collaborative, multi-disciplinary dialogue is another key element of any peer review process’ success.
Danya Al-Haydari is an Environmental Planner at Hardy Stevenson and Associates Limited, where she specializes in public consultation, environmental assessment and energy policy. She has coordinated work for the Port Hope and Port Granby Projects, and conducted research on the Port Hope Area Initiative’s Property Value Protection Program. Most recently, she co-authored a paper for the Nuclear Waste Management Organization on community well-being in nuclear host communities. Danya is a member of the Canadian Nuclear Societyand Women in Nuclear Canada.