DAMS_Logo

United Nations Environment Programme


Dams and Development Project

Home
About DDP
Promoting Dialogue
Global Dialogue
National Dialogue
Regional Dialogue
Practical Tools
Networking
Dissemination
Publications
Events
Contact Us
Related Links
Site Map
The World Commission On Dams

Issues-Based Workshops

The convening of multistakeholder international issues-based workshops was recommended by the participants of the first Dams and Development Forum meeting held on 8-9 July 2002 in Nairobi where the following key topics were identified to focus the global multi-stakeholder dialogue: Comprehensive Options Assessment, Gaining Public Acceptance, Addressing Existing Dams, Ensuring Compliance and Financing Dams and Sustainable Development. The meetings, structured as seminar-workshops, were meant to clarify and identify the key attributes of the strategic priorities and analyse the challenges and obstacles to their implementation in the national context aiming at closing the gap between aspirations and reality concerning dam planning and management.

DDP has convened five following issues-based workshops in Phase 1 and 2:

COMPREHENSIVE OPTIONS ASSESSMENT

 
22-23 September 2003, Geneva , Switzerland  

The meeting aimed at facilitating an international, multi-stakeholder debate on how to ensure that all options for satisfying water and energy needs, including dams and their alternatives, are considered in a transparent and participatory manner in decision-making processes and at identifying the challenges and opportunities involved in conducting comprehensive options assessments. The wide range of aspects involved in options assessment were grouped into the following categories:

  • Planning levels and scope of analysis;
  • Identification of options. Focus on process;
  • Assessment tools; and
  • Process implementation. Four seminar plenary-type sessions were convened during the first day addressing each thematic group. Discussions were preceded by a short number of case studies briefly presented by participants and invited resource persons. Four working groups discussed each topic during the second day. A final plenary session in the morning of the third day allowed the participants to build on the achievements and conclusions of the four working groups and propose a way forward.
The workshop generated a summary statement that describes what comprehensive options assessments are, who is responsible for conducting them at various planning levels, what are the challenges to and opportunities for conducting them, and what the DDP can do to help close the gap between present-day options assessments and the ideal, comprehensive assessment of options elaborated by the workshop. These results are intended to feed into national dialogues and inform policy recommendations for improved decision-making. The full proceedings of the meeting and a compilation of case studies submitted to the workshop are also available for downloading.

 

FINANCING DAMS AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

 
21-22 April 2004, London , United Kingdom  

The overall objective of the workshop was to identify ways of minimising risk related to the financing of dams and their alternatives and thereby achieve more sustainable projects. Risks that were addressed at the workshop included financial and investment risk, reputational risk, risk to livelihoods and environmental risk. Other specific aims were to exchange views on:

  • The expectations, roles and responsibilities of public and private financial organizations in relation to policies and sustainability criteria of dam projects and processes that lead to their selection;
  • The criteria appropriate for improvement of safeguard policies and procedures of private and public sector financiers in relation to the selection, planning and implementation of dam projects and their alternatives, and the potential for new approaches to lower risk;
  • The steps that may be taken to build confidence and ensure that risks have been minimized at key decision-points in financing processes.

About 60 participants from government, commercial banks, multi-lateral development banks, bilateral agencies, export credit agencies, NGOs, industry, utilities, affected and indigenous peoples' groups and professional associations attended the workshop. The full proceedings of the meeting are available for downloading.

ADDRESSING EXISTING DAMS

14-15 June 2004 Nairobi , Kenya

41 participants representing a wide range of stakeholder groups involved in the dams and development debate attended the meeting. The overall objectives of the workshop were to:

  • Identify the current practices and constraints concerning the systematic assessment of the performance of existing dams, including systematic monitoring and safety aspects;
  • Identify principles and criteria concerning structural and non-structural approaches for the optimisation and efficient production of dam benefits under changing contexts (climatic, socio-economic, policy and regulatory);
  • Discuss the role of stakeholders, especially government agencies, beneficiaries and affected peoples, in the monitoring of dam performance, including safety issues; and
  • Specify approaches for closing the gap between aspiration and reality.

The output of the workshop was a set of recommendations and issues to be discussed in the context of national and regional multi-stakeholder dialogues and workshops, with a view to influence policies and procedures aiming to improve decision-making on dams and their alternatives . The full proceedings of the meeting are available for downloading

ENSURING COMPLIANCE

 
15-16 June, Nairobi, Kenya  

45 participants representing a wide range of stakeholder groups involved in the dams and development debate attended the meeting. The overall objectives of the workshop were to:

  • Critically identify and evaluate different perspectives and measures to ensure compliance and determine the effectiveness of various enforcement mechanisms;
  • Provide clarification on the roles and responsibilities of the various stakeholders and the public and private sector in ensuring compliance;
  • Link responsibilities for ensuring compliance with the tools for compliance and evaluating the effectiveness of these tools;
  • Discuss the institutionalisation of regulatory and non-regulatory measures to ensure compliance in the context of national legal frameworks and;
  • Identify strategies for closing the gap between aspiration and reality where compliance issues are concerned.

The output of the workshop was a set of recommendations and issues to be dealt with that reflect principles, criteria and strategies concerning the improvement of implementation of compliance mechanisms at the national level. The goal is to enable their discussion in the context of national and regional multi-stakeholder dialogues and workshops, with a view to influence policies and procedures aiming to improve decision-making on dams and their alternatives. The full proceedings of the meeting are available for downloading.

GAINING PUBLIC ACCEPTANCE

 
5 October 2005, Nairobi, Kenya  

The workshop served the purpose of unpacking the key elements of the WCD first strategic priority as well as reaching consensus on outstanding controversial issues for use by those involved in dams and development issues at national, sub-national and local levels. Seventy eight participants representing a wide range of stakeholder groups attended the meeting. The overall objectives of the workshop were to:

  • Discuss the nature and features of gaining public acceptance process/procedure; seeking at their clarification and prioritization for further consideration at local level with a view to its integration into policy, legal and regulatory frameworks.
  • Assess challenges and opportunities in national and regional contexts for institutionalising gaining public acceptance; identify examples of relevant practices in this regard.

The output of the workshop was a set of recommendations on the four key components of gaining public acceptance that reflect principles, criteria and strategies concerning the improvement of implementation of public acceptance at the national level. The statement was incorporated into the proceedings of the meeting and published and distributed as an information sheet.

Back to Top

Home About DDP Promoting Dialogue Practical Tools Networking Dissemination Publications Events Contact Us Links