The social impacts of dams

The social impacts of dams team participates in research on :

  1. Social impacts of large dams
    FutureDAMS researchers are evaluating how the post-project benefit streams from dams promote or undermine equity within (eg gender) and between vulnerable populations (eg upstream-downstream). Moreover, we will determine how impacts of dams on local populations (on community cohesion, livelihoods, asset tenure, gender equality) can best be addressed within practical operational frameworks (the safeguards agenda) to ensure more equitable distribution of benefits (the positive benefits agenda).
  2. Climate finance
    The consortium is investigating decision making around pathways to low carbon and climate resilient development alongside insights on energy and water investment. The sustainability of infrastructure projects requires resilience to political imperatives, acceptability across the breadth of stakeholders and being aligned with existing and probable future environmental commitments. These in turn influence the finance institutions understandings of the risk of the investment and their interest in both future investment and risk transfer (i.e. insurance). Both public and private financial institutions are searching for opportunities to invest in the low-carbon, climate resilient economy to build ambition for the 2020 and future National Determined Contribution updates and deliver the $100 billion of climate finance promised.

The team:

 

Resettlement and benefit sharing

Jamie Skinner is investigating the social impacts of dams, examining the issues concerning resettlement (including gender considerations) and what we have we learnt from the past. Jamie is also exlporing the concepts of benefit sharing with Christopher Schulz.

Sarah Vaughan and Mesfin Gebremichael are also researching the resettlement of Gumuz communities around Ethiopia’s Blue Nile Dam.

Climate finance for hydropower

Sejal Patel and Neha Rai have been looking at how climate finance for hydropower can a enable a transition to a low-carbon climate-resilient future.

China

The focus of this research (led by Lila Buckely) is the dynamics of and safeguarding practices of Chinese overseas hydropower investments, providing insight into whether practices are improving and what is driving this. Understanding these drivers helps us to identify leverage points for improving the social and environmental outcomes of large dams in LDCs.

This video below was produced for the FutureDAMS annual forum (November 2020) as a summary of the Lila’s current research progress.

https://youtu.be/r3jVNwI1s24

Social impacts research

  Title/downloadSummary
10/2020Working paperResettlement of Gumuz communities around Ethiopia's Blue Nile damThis paper explores the programme of resettlement of Gumuz farmers and others living at low altitude along the Nile and Beles rivers, whose home areas are expected to be flooded on completion of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and filling of a new reservoir.
06/2020Webinar Resettlement of Gumuz communities around Ethiopia’s Blue Nile damDr Sarah Vaughan presented the preliminary conclusions from her research for a FutureDAMS webinar.
04/2020WebinarClimate finance for hydropower: enabling the transition to a low-carbon futureSejal Patel and Neha Rai discuss the role of climate financiers in supporting hydropower, and look at why hydropower project developers should be interested in the benefits of accessing climate finance.
01/2020Issue paperClimate finance for hydropower. Incentivising the low-carbon transitionIIED's Issue Paper on climate funding for sustainable hydropower projects to support the transition to a low-carbon future
12/2019BriefingHow climate finance can help repurpose hydropowerIIED's Briefing on how policy can enable the shift to clean energy by mobilising climate funds for hydropower projects
04/2019Working paperDam-Induced Displacement and Resettlement: A Literature ReviewA literature review of published scientific articles in peer reviewed journals to establish what the scientific literature has to say about resettlement, from the first articles on this issue that started appearing in the early 1970s.
07/2018BriefingGender considerations in the restoration of livelihoods: resettlement from hydropowerFollowing a review of existing policies and outcomes of resettlement
approaches for large hydropower dams, we suggest how incorporating the gendered dimension of resettlement can improve these policies to help women and men successfully restore their livelihoods.

Will green bonds boost finance flows to sustainable hydropower?

By Jamie Skinner, IIED The Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) has recently expanded the criteria of the Climate Bonds Standard to include sustainable hydropower projects. Over US$1 trillion of green bonds have been issued to date, and by extending its criteria to...

Webinar: Hydropower in LDCs with Chinese characteristics

Lila Buckley (IIED) & Professor Wang Hua (University of China and PACE)  The focus of this webinar is the dynamics and safeguarding practices of Chinese overseas hydropower investments, providing insight into whether practices are improving and what is driving this....

Resettlement of Gumuz Communities around Ethiopia’s Blue Nile Dam: NEW open access research

Read the FutureDAMS working paper 'Resettlement of Gumuz Communities around Ethiopia’s Blue Nile Dam'. This working paper explores the programme of resettlement of Gumuz farmers and others living at low altitude along the Nile and Beles rivers, whose home areas are...

Webinar – Climate finance for hydropower: enabling the transition to a low-carbon future

By Sejal Patel and Neha Rai, IIED Tuesday 2nd June 2020 Watch: https://youtu.be/egmlWKoNNqQ In this presentation, we discuss the role of climate financiers in supporting hydropower, and look at why hydropower project developers should be interested in the benefits of...

Dams and Covid-19: Some Thoughts

By David Hulme and Barnaby Dye, Global Development Institute, University of Manchester Today we live in a lockdown world as the Covid-19 pandemic sweeps across countries and continents: air travel has virtually ceased; billions of people have been told to stay at...

Climate finance, hydropower and the transition to a low-carbon future

International climate funds, set up to finance the global transition to a low carbon future has the potential to invest in hydropower to enable the shift to reliable, affordable, clean distributed smart grids and incentivise infrastructure which is socially,...

Resettlement from large dams – what have we learned?

By Jamie Skinner, IIED Millions of people have been displaced by reservoir construction around the world and the negative effects this has had on their livelihoods has prompted many questions about the uneven distribution of costs and benefits of large dams....

Who should carry the financial risks in private sector financed hydropower projects?

Read the latest FutureDAMS article published in International Water Power Magazine (IWP&DC) by Judith Plummer Braeckman from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and Jamie Skinner from the International Institute for Environment and...

Lecture: China’s role in large hydropower dams in Asia and Africa

Yesterday we were joined by Frauke Urban, Associate Professor in the Management of Sustainable Energy Systems at KTH, as part of the FutureDAMS lecture series. The lecture focused on the findings from her recent comparative study of Chinese hydropower dams in Africa...

Briefing: Gender considerations in hydropower resettlement

A recently published briefing from Jamie Skinner of IIED and Director of Capacity Building at FutureDAMS examines the gender implications of resettlement following large hydropower projects. The briefing summarises the evidence, identifies best practices and...

Who should carry the financial risks in large private sector financed hydropower projects?

By Judith Plummer Braeckman (CISL) and Jamie Skinner (IIED) Large hydropower projects can cost more than a billion dollars to build. For the private sector, to whom Governments are increasingly turning for infrastructure finance, this represents a significant...

FutureDAMS on the BBC World Service

Jamie Skinner, FutureDAMS capacity director and researcher at IIED, features prominently in a new BBC World documentary looking at the big issues concerning dams around the world. He outlines the importance of making informed choices throughout the life of a dam, from...