Lose to gain: is involuntary resettlement a development opportunity?
Resettlement policies and laws in South Asian countries at present focus primarily on compensation payment for property acquired for a public purpose. This book assesses the adequacy of conventional compensation and resettlement assistance programs such as cash-for-land, land-for-land compensation, limited and temporary employment opportunities at project construction sites, better housing in urban development projects, and income and livelihood restoration and improvement assistance programmes.
It also examines affected persons’ perspectives, how they perceive their displacement, and what strategies they use to respond to displacement with or without assistance from project sponsors and authorities. This knowledge will help policy makers, project sponsors, and project executive agencies to improve resettlement planning and implementation programmes and, at least to some extent, will assist in reforming resettlement policies and land laws.
Such reforms, this book argues, should consider
- the adequacy of current resettlement policy frameworks to deal with complex, widespread, and ambiguous experiences of affected persons of development interventions
- the almost inevitable impoverishment of project-affected persons from the pre-displacement phase to post-resettlement phase
- limited state commitment to broadening such policy frameworks into national laws
- widespread weak institutional capacity to implement the laws