This desk study first looks at some of the early experiences of resettlement and the approaches generated to analyze them. It then presents an overview of the most significant recent formulations of theory (Cernea's risks and reconstruction model) and policy (the World Bank guidelines). The second section addresses the gaps in existing policy and theory. The paper argues that approaches to resettlement that overlook the distribution of societal power ignore crucial conflicts of interest among different stakeholders in the resettlement process. The third section then looks at the gaps in practice, in terms of the ability of resettlement programmes to address economic and power issues, using the risks and reconstruction model as a framework for discussion. The fourth section looks at how to improve existing theory, policy, and practice so that resettlement leads to greater equity and growth. A final concluding section offers some discussion of the potential problems involved in moving from an economic approach to a more explicitly political-economic one.
DFID, London, UK, 101 pp.