Jalia Kangave, “Investigating the Failure of Resettlement and Rehabilitation in Development Projects: A Critical Analysis of the World Bank’s Policy on Involuntary Resettlement Using Lessons from Uganda’s Bujagali Hydroelectric Project”

Working Abstract

The World Bank policy on involuntary resettlement (OP 4.12) is widely celebrated for providing a framework for the restoration and improvement of the livelihoods of communities displaced by large development projects. However, despite its wide application, involuntary resettlement continues to adversely impact on affected communities. This article argues that the effectiveness of OP 4.12 is inhibited by a number of factors. First, the policy concentrates on land-for-land resettlement and ignores other long-term restoration and rehabilitation measures. Second, its soft law nature means that its enforceability is restricted. Third, the success of involuntary resettlement is indirectly affected by the imposition of a Westphalian understanding of indigeneity that has no place in certain parts of the Third World. By promoting an indigenous peoples policy that adds benefits to OP 4.12, institutions such as the World Bank are able to appease groups of actors that are either affected by or sympathetic with indigenous peoples issue. In this way, the scrutiny that would have been targeted at OP 4.12 is diverted.

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