Study proposes tool to monitor compensation for communities affected by infrastructure projects

Developed as part of a research and development project for the power sector, this protocol is an instrument to induce better practices, both public and corporate.
Public Policy
18 October 2023
Study proposes tool to monitor compensation for communities affected by infrastructure projects

Forced displacement caused by infrastructure projects can lead to violations of rights, socioeconomic and cultural damage, and suffering for the affected people and communities. These problems stem mainly from a lack of robust tools to diagnose and monitor resettlement processes. In order to contribute to this field of knowledge and help fill this gap, Fundação Getulio Vargas’ Center for Sustainability Studies (FGVces) and CTG Brasil produced a document titled “Protocol for Monitoring the Socioeconomic, Cultural and Environmental Development of Groups Resettled Due to Hydroelectric Projects.”

Developed as part of a research and development project for the power sector, this protocol is an instrument to induce better practices, both public and corporate, for repairing the damage caused by compulsory displacement and resettlement in hydroelectric projects.

Based on the contemporary concept of the right to decent housing and the regional identity of affected people, the document proposes the effective participation of communities in monitoring actions aimed at the socioeconomic, environmental and cultural development of resettled groups, thereby establishing a governance system based on social participation as well as adaptive management that continually adjusts processes to local dynamics.

This monitoring should be based on the results of a social-territorial diagnosis that incorporates not only material dimensions but also the immaterial aspects of the experience of affected people. The protocol also recommends the creation of a monitoring scorecard containing an action plan and a set of indicators for follow-up.

The protocol consists of three components, aligned with five diagnosis and monitoring parameters:

  • Housing;
  • People’s livelihoods;
  • Community life;
  • Remediation processes;
  • Macro-territory.

The figure below shows this arrangement schematically, including the following application assumptions:

a) Centrality of the affected people and meaningful social participation;

b) Transparency, access to information and social control;

c) Intersectionality and multiculturalism;

d) The need for commitment and cooperation between the public and private stakeholders involved.

In this way, the protocol highlights the importance of incorporating monitoring as an integral part of hydroelectric projects and the need for the effective participation of those potentially affected from the earliest stages. Accordingly, the research team notes that the proposed practices and parameters may also be extended to earlier phases, such as planning of hydroelectric projects, impact assessments, and planning and monitoring of the implementation of new settlements for displaced people.

To read the full study, click here.

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