Resettlement Processes and their Socioeconomic Impact: Porce II Hydroelectric Project, Colombia

Mar 2011
This evaluation conducted a comprehensive analysis of the long-term socioeconomic impact on the resettled population in the context of the Porce II Hydroelectric Project in Antioquia, Colombia. The evaluation's results highlight the formalization of landholdings, as well as quality improvements in housing and access to public and social services in the resettlement. Ethnographic workshops documented the use and enjoyment of the homes and common areas. There were also positive trends in terms of the educational levels in the resettlement. Results showed the resettled families' ability to adapt and coexist with groups outside their family networks. The economic dimension was the greatest challenge for a resettlement endeavor seeking to diversify the population's economic structure, which had engaged almost exclusively in mining and, to a lesser extent, in agriculture and cattle farming. The evaluation corroborated the shift in economic focus and the improvement of the resettled population's ability to engage in other activities. While the evaluation showed significant improvements in net worth and family spending, impact on income has not been significant. This evaluation provides conceptual and methodological elements that embody best practices and objectively contribute to the debate on the issue of population displacement as a consequence of large infrastructure projects.