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Often, when we think about development-induced displacement and resettlement (DIDR) associated with large dams and other large infrastructure projects, we think about the planning, implementation and evaluation tools specific to resettlement and rehabilitation programs.
There is hardly any literature that analyzes the topic of DIDR from an investment perspective.
Put differently, without interacting simultaneously with these two often conflicting tensions, and without deliberately acknowledging that these tensions overlap in decision-making, the analysis of the challenges to, and proposals for, the improvement of DIDR initiatives becomes somewhat removed from the everyday realities and complexities that characterize such projects.
The present discussion departs from the dominant approach to the study of DIDR and looks at involuntary resettlement for what it actually is: resettlement that results from investments in large infrastructure projects.
The shift in conceptualizing DIDR from a "dams and development" perspective to an investment perspective produces different but complementary results.
This article employs this literature to further the argument about why it is important to study DIDR from an investment perspective.
Informed partly by the experiences of resettlement in the Bujagali Project, the ensuing analysis concludes that one explanation for the failure of Affected Communities to benefit from DIDR initiatives undertaken under OP 4.12 lies in the hierarchy or categorization of obligations imposed on the borrower (project sponsor) under that policy.
The provisions of both entities as far as DIDR is concerned are quite similar.
In Part III, the various explanations put forward for the failure of DIDR are discussed before reverting to a critical review of OP 4.12 in Part IV.
(86) Its fundamental conceptual framework has distinguished it as the leading tool in the social sciences for formulating policies on resettlement "with a continuously increasing intellectual following." (87) It is thus somewhat perplexing that DIDR continues to impoverish communities even in projects funded by the Bank.
DIDR: UNDERSTANDING THE THEORETICAL-PRACTICAL DISCONNECT
Or as resettlement and rehabilitation specialists Rew and colleagues have asked: "Is policy enough to prevent impoverishment as a result of DIDR?" (285) Some have argued that while these policies do not give Affected Communities a right of action, one cannot deny that they at least constitute a strong infrastructure of responsibilities and obligations imposed on project sponsors.
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