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.
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