Resettlement processes are challenging in the best of circumstances, and present real risks to project implementation. Hard lessons have been learned in situations where responsibility for aspects of resettlement are left to third parties.
In other cases, prescriptive legislative requirements such as cash compensation measures required in certain countries can lead to a deterioration of livelihoods.
This puts pressure on developers, who are often required to act as vehicles for local development, taking on responsibilities that would normally fall on other stakeholders.
Clear resettlement strategies that enable stakeholders to implement project-tailored resettlement programmes that not only compensate for the impacts of resettlement, but also improve affected livelihoods go some way to ameliorating the risks in such situations.
Our work on resettlement
The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol addresses the topic of resettlement, and provides guidance on basic and best practices in hydropower development.
The protocol was developed by a multi-stakeholder forum managed by the International Hydropower Association (IHA), and following its development, it is currently governed by a multi-stakeholder council (the Hydropower Sustainability Council).
The governing body of the tool, and in particular the representatives of social non-governmental organisations involved in the process, continues to address and research critical social issues like resettlement.
In parallel, IHA manages a knowledge-based database of protocol assessment results, including resettlement. This research and knowledge based building aims to improve understanding of resettlement challenges, and to help formulate case studies of best practices in this area.
Latest associated content
Giulio Boccaletti, Ph.D., is the managing director for global water at The Nature Conservancy. He spoke with us about sustainability as a structural issue, and the importance of dialogue between NGOs and the hydropower community.Type:Blog postDate:29 April 2014
Early-stage planning is under way for a multi-purpose hydropower programme on the Sava River in Croatia.Type:Blog postDate:19 March 2014
Jean-Michel Devernay is the World Bank's chief technical specialist for hydropower.Type:Blog postDate:28 February 2014
The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol is a tool for assessing the sustainability of hydropower projects against a comprehensive range of social, environmental, technical and economic considerations.Type:Blog postDate:13 February 2014
Gil Maranhão Neto is the director of business development at GDF Suez Energy Brasil. He spoke with us about the hydropower environment in the Amazon region, the role of the private sector and the impacts of IHA's work.Type:Blog postDate:4 February 2014