Previous studies of public involvement in environmental impact assessment were mainly analyzed qualitatively, but quantitative text analysis is developing and being applied to social research. The study examined public involvement by applying quantitative text analysis to the minutes from the meetings of a bridge project in Cambodia. Results of the analysis showed that the discussion about the environmental impacts and alternatives analysis was limited. The study concluded that good and understandable meeting materials, facilitation of discussions, and meetings at an early stage could be key components to improve public involvement, and that good public involvement could rest upon environmental and social awareness of project proponents. Finally the quantitative text analysis showed a valid analysis tool for public involvement. Further research is required to analyze public involvement using quantitative text analysis, focusing on high- or low-interest items to local people, alternatives analysis, and comparisons to other projects.
Keywords: public involvement, environmental impact assessment, quantitative text analysis, minutes from the meetings