Developing Countries and Resettlement Policy

Developing Countries and Resettlement Policy

IDC Ltd specializes in the compilation of Resettlement Action Plans according to international best practice, which is defined in the IFC PS5, the World Bank OP 4.12 and various other international development bank guidelines.

An estimated 10 million people each year are forced to move as a result of policies and projects implemented in the name of ‘development’.

Disproportionately, this affects the rural and urban poor – precisely the target group of development efforts.  IDC believes firmly, that resettlement should result in an improvement of livelihoods and living situations as stipulated in IFC and World Bank standards. IDC aims with its innovative approach to Resettlement Action Plans (RAP) to contribute towards that improvement.

This often proves a difficult task, either due to the lack of any resettlement policy that meets international standards or the lack of capacity to support the implementation of policies in place. Recent research furthermore stressed the failure to integrate policy and implementation systems. (De Wet, 2006: 54),

IDC specializes in cooperating with national governments to raise awareness and introduce best international practice within a national legal context. In Tanzania for example most compensation is awarded in form of cash. This results in a multitude of problems, often resulting in further impoverishment and impacting especially on women. IDC therefore developed a unique hybrid approach marrying the best practice of in-Kind with national guidelines and practices.

IDC has developed a two-prong approach. Firstly within the on-going resettlement contract IDC has worked with the government to agree to accept a hybrid combination of ‘in-kind’ and ‘in cash’ compensation. This has also entailed working with the communities to accept the same and has been very successful in getting graasroot buy-in as well.

The second initiative came from a meeting with the Minister to propose the development of an updated Resettlement Policy Framework in line with international best practice. Upon positive response from the minister IDC could obtain funding from the Worldbank to undertake a Rapid Assessment of the resettlement processes and its constraints impeding compensation mechanisms. Within this, IDC has interviewed key actors from the Ministry and District level as well as the universities involved in a range of land issues. The main constraints were found to be lack of finances, human resources, technical hardware, software and training. This programme is on-going.

Whilst moving policy making on a high level, IDC engages with valuers and surveyors, land officers and ward executives on the ground to raise awareness and moreover practically demonstrate feasible and cost effective mechanisms to achieve a more equitable and beneficial resettlement process based on the in-kind approach favored by the IFC and World Bank Group guidelines.