Social, Economic, and Health Research

Social, economic, and health research is critical to community planning and to assessing and managing potential impacts from industrial development.

What We Do

We support communities in undertaking their own assessments that identify and address what matters most to them, for example impacts from industrial developments, accessing traditional foods, contaminant risks, engaging in cultural activities, or accessing jobs and training. Our services include community-led censuses and surveys, baseline socio-economic and health research, and food and diet studies. We integrate our work with Firelight’s teams in environmental assessment support, traditional knowledge and use, and impact and benefit agreement negotiations to ensure that our work is strategic and provides added value for communities.


Our team includes leading social scientists with decades of research experience conducting studies for a broad range of projects from large scale coal mines, hydro dams, gas pipelines, and LNG terminals to smaller scale projects like winter roads in the north.

Capacity Building

We provide training on social, economic, and health research in Indigenous communities, helping them to establish their own mechanisms for identifying, assessing, monitoring, and managing the issues that impact community wellbeing.


Alistair MacDonald
MA Geography
Edmonton Office
Phone: (780) 488-0090

Community-led socio-economic studies allow Indigenous groups to take a leadership role in identifying and managing the good and bad changes that come with resource development, increasing communities’ ability to take advantage of job and business opportunities, while protecting social, economic and cultural values, in ways that make a difference on the ground.

Alistair MacDonald
Socio-ec team lead
The Firelight Group

Research, policy, planning, negotiation, advisory, and capacity building services for Indigenous and local communities.


VICTORIA (250) 590-9017
VANCOUVER (604) 563-2245
EDMONTON (780) 760-1255