Evaluating Chinese policy on post-resettlement support for dam-induced displacement and resettlement

Xiaonan Chen, Frank Vanclay, Jin Yu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Being resettled is a complex and traumatic process. International experience reveals that people are made worse off by project induced displacement and resettlement. In China, a country with much dam induced resettlement, since 2006 there has been considerable government attention to ensure that post-resettlement outcomes are improved and that people are made better off as a result of being resettled. We describe the context of dam-induced resettlement in China, and analyse the post-resettlement support mechanisms used. We identify the key success factors that have led to effective outcomes. They included: a trigger that prompted the government to take action; a change in development philosophy to a more people-oriented approach and acceptance that resettled people and host communities had to be made better off; a market-oriented approach in the way post-resettlement support was delivered and in terms of cross-subsidizing resettlement from hydroelectricity production; long term support to resettled people and host communities; and considerable public participation so that the post-resettlement support schemes were of value to the resettled people and host communities.

Original languageEnglish
JournalImpact Assessment and Project Appraisal
Early online date24-Jun-2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24-Jun-2020


  • Development induced displacement and resettlement
  • involuntary resettlement
  • livelihood restoration
  • reservoir resettlement
  • rural development
  • social impact assessment

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