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OP 4.12, Annex A - Involuntary Resettlement Instruments

These policies were prepared for use by World Bank staff and are not necessarily a complete treatment of the subject.
OP 4.12 - Annex A
December, 2001

Revised February 2011

This Operational Policy statement was updated in February 2011 to clarify the use of Use of Escrow Accounts in order to Help Reduce Delays in Implementation of Resettlement, and Clarification of Funding of Grievance Mechanisms. Questions on this policy may be addressed to OPCS Quality Assurance and Compliance (OPCQC).

1. This annex describes the elements of a resettlement plan, an abbreviated resettlement plan, a resettlement policy framework, and a resettlement process framework, as discussed in OP 4.12, paras. 17-31.

Resettlement Plan

2. The scope and level of detail of the resettlement plan vary with the magnitude and complexity of resettlement. The plan is based on up-to-date and reliable information about (a) the proposed resettlement and its impacts on the displaced persons and other adversely affected groups, and (b) the legal issues involved in resettlement. The resettlement plan covers the elements below, as relevant. When any element is not relevant to project circumstances, it should be noted in the resettlement plan.

3. Description of the project. General description of the project and identification of the project area.

4. Potential impacts. Identification of

(a) the project component or activities that give rise to resettlement;

(b) the zone of impact of such component or activities;

(c) the alternatives considered to avoid or minimize resettlement; and

(d) the mechanisms established to minimize resettlement, to the extent possible, during project implementation.

5. Objectives. The main objectives of the resettlement program.

6. Socioeconomic studies. The findings of socioeconomic studies to be conducted in the early stages of project preparation and with the involvement of potentially displaced people, including

(a) the results of a census survey covering

(i) current occupants of the affected area to establish a basis for the design of the resettlement program and to exclude subsequent inflows of people from eligibility for compensation and resettlement assistance;

(ii) standard characteristics of displaced households, including a description of production systems, labor, and household organization; and baseline information on livelihoods (including, as relevant, production levels and income derived from both formal and informal economic activities) and standards of living (including health status) of the displaced population;

(iii) the magnitude of the expected loss--total or partial--of assets, and the extent of displacement, physical or economic;

(iv) information on vulnerable groups or persons as provided for in OP 4.12, para. 8, for whom special provisions may have to be made; and

(v) provisions to update information on the displaced people's livelihoods and standards of living at regular intervals so that the latest information is available at the time of their displacement.

(b) Other studies describing the following

(i) land tenure and transfer systems, including an inventory of common property natural resources from which people derive their livelihoods and sustenance, non-title-based usufruct systems (including fishing, grazing, or use of forest areas) governed by local recognized land allocation mechanisms, and any issues raised by different tenure systems in the project area;

(ii) the patterns of social interaction in the affected communities, including social networks and social support systems, and how they will be affected by the project;

(iii) public infrastructure and social services that will be affected; and

(iv) social and cultural characteristics of displaced communities, including a description of formal and informal institutions (e.g., community organizations, ritual groups, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)) that may be relevant to the consultation strategy and to designing and implementing the resettlement activities.

7. Legal framework. The findings of an analysis of the legal framework, covering

(a) the scope of the power of eminent domain and the nature of compensation associated with it, in terms of both the valuation methodology and the timing of payment;

(b) the applicable legal and administrative procedures, including a description of the remedies available to displaced persons in the judicial process and the normal timeframe for such procedures, and any available alternative dispute resolution mechanisms that may be relevant to resettlement under the project;

(c) relevant law (including customary and traditional law) governing land tenure, valuation of assets and losses, compensation, and natural resource usage rights; customary personal law related to displacement; and environmental laws and social welfare legislation;

(d) laws and regulations relating to the agencies responsible for implementing resettlement activities;

(e) gaps, if any, between local laws covering eminent domain and resettlement and the Bank's resettlement policy, and the mechanisms to bridge such gaps; and

(f) any legal steps necessary to ensure the effective implementation of resettlement activities under the project, including, as appropriate, a process for recognizing claims to legal rights to land--including claims that derive from customary law and traditional usage (see OP 4.12, para.15 b).

8. Institutional Framework. The findings of an analysis of the institutional framework covering

(a) the identification of agencies responsible for resettlement activities and NGOs that may have a role in project implementation;

(b) an assessment of the institutional capacity of such agencies and NGOs; and

(c) any steps that are proposed to enhance the institutional capacity of agencies and NGOs responsible for resettlement implementation.

9. Eligibility. Definition of displaced persons and criteria for determining their eligibility for compensation and other resettlement assistance, including relevant cut-off dates.

10. Valuation of and compensation for losses. The methodology to be used in valuing losses to determine their replacement cost; and a description of the proposed types and levels of compensation under local law and such supplementary measures as are necessary to achieve replacement cost for lost assets.1

11. Resettlement measures. A description of the packages of compensation and other resettlement measures that will assist each category of eligible displaced persons to achieve the objectives of the policy (see OP 4.12, para. 6). In addition to being technically and economically feasible, the resettlement packages should be compatible with the cultural preferences of the displaced persons, and prepared in consultation with them.

12. Site selection, site preparation, and relocation. Alternative relocation sites considered and explanation of those selected, covering

(a) institutional and technical arrangements for identifying and preparing relocation sites, whether rural or urban, for which a combination of productive potential, locational advantages, and other factors is at least comparable to the advantages of the old sites, with an estimate of the time needed to acquire and transfer land and ancillary resources;

(b) any measures necessary to prevent land speculation or influx of ineligible persons at the selected sites;

(c) procedures for physical relocation under the project, including timetables for site preparation and transfer; and

(d) legal arrangements for regularizing tenure and transferring titles to resettlers.

13. Housing, infrastructure, and social services. Plans to provide (or to finance resettlers' provision of) housing, infrastructure (e.g., water supply, feeder roads), and social services (e.g., schools, health services);2plans to ensure comparable services to host populations; any necessary site development, engineering, and architectural designs for these facilities.

14. Environmental protection and management. A description of the boundaries of the relocation area; and an assessment of the environmental impacts of the proposed resettlement3and measures to mitigate and manage these impacts (coordinated as appropriate with the environmental assessment of the main investment requiring the resettlement).

15. Community participation. Involvement of resettlers and host communities,4

(a) a description of the strategy for consultation with and participation of resettlers and hosts in the design and implementation of the resettlement activities;

(b) a summary of the views expressed and how these views were taken into account in preparing the resettlement plan;

(c) a review of the resettlement alternatives presented and the choices made by displaced persons regarding options available to them, including choices related to forms of compensation and resettlement assistance, to relocating as individuals families or as parts of preexisting communities or kinship groups, to sustaining existing patterns of group organization, and to retaining access to cultural property (e.g. places of worship, pilgrimage centers, cemeteries);5and

(d) institutionalized arrangements by which displaced people can communicate their concerns to project authorities throughout planning and implementation, and measures to ensure that such vulnerable groups as indigenous people, ethnic minorities, the landless, and women are adequately represented.

16. Integration with host populations. Measures to mitigate the impact of resettlement on any host communities, including

(a) consultations with host communities and local governments;

(b) arrangements for prompt tendering of any payment due the hosts for land or other assets provided to resettlers;

(c) arrangements for addressing any conflict that may arise between resettlers and host communities; and

(d) any measures necessary to augment services (e.g., education, water, health, and production services) in host communities to make them at least comparable to services available to resettlers.

17. Grievance procedures. Affordable and accessible procedures for third-party settlement of disputes arising from resettlement; such grievance mechanisms should take into account the availability of judicial recourse and community and traditional dispute settlement mechanisms.

18. Organizational responsibilities. The organizational framework for implementing resettlement, including identification of agencies responsible for delivery of resettlement measures and provision of services; arrangements to ensure appropriate coordination between agencies and jurisdictions involved in implementation; and any measures (including technical assistance) needed to strengthen the implementing agencies' capacity to design and carry out resettlement activities; provisions for the transfer to local authorities or resettlers themselves of responsibility for managing facilities and services provided under the project and for transferring other such responsibilities from the resettlement implementing agencies, when appropriate.

19. Implementation schedule. An implementation schedule covering all resettlement activities from preparation through implementation, including target dates for the achievement of expected benefits to resettlers and hosts and terminating the various forms of assistance. The schedule should indicate how the resettlement activities are linked to the implementation of the overall project.

20. Costs and budget. Tables showing itemized cost estimates for all resettlement activities, including allowances for inflation, population growth, and other contingencies; timetables for expenditures; sources of funds; and arrangements for timely flow of funds, and funding for resettlement, if any, in areas outside the jurisdiction of the implementing agencies.6

21. Monitoring and evaluation. Arrangements for monitoring of resettlement activities by the implementing agency, supplemented by independent monitors as considered appropriate by the Bank, to ensure complete and objective information; performance monitoring indicators to measure inputs, outputs, and outcomes for resettlement activities; involvement of the displaced persons in the monitoring process; evaluation of the impact of resettlement for a reasonable period after all resettlement and related development activities have been completed; using the results of resettlement monitoring to guide subsequent implementation.

Abbreviated Resettlement Plan

22. An abbreviated plan covers the following minimum elements:7

(a) a census survey of displaced persons and valuation of assets;

(b) description of compensation and other resettlement assistance to be provided;

(c) consultations with displaced people about acceptable alternatives;

(d) institutional responsibility for implementation and procedures for grievance redress;

(e) arrangements for monitoring and implementation; and

(f) a timetable and budget.

Resettlement Policy Framework

23. The purpose of the policy framework is to clarify resettlement principles, organizational arrangements, and design criteria to be applied to subprojects to be prepared during project implementation (see OP 4.12, paras. 26-28). Subproject resettlement plans consistent with the policy framework subsequently are submitted to the Bank for approval after specific planning information becomes available (see OP 4.12, para. 29).

24. The resettlement policy framework covers the following elements, consistent with the provisions described in OP 4.12, paras. 2 and 4:

(a) a brief description of the project and components for which land acquisition and resettlement are required, and an explanation of why a resettlement plan as described in paras. 2-21 or an abbreviated plan as described in para. 22 cannot be prepared by project appraisal;

(b) principles and objectives governing resettlement preparation and implementation;

(c) a description of the process for preparing and approving resettlement plans;

(d) estimated population displacement and likely categories of displaced persons, to the extent feasible;

(e) eligibility criteria for defining various categories of displaced persons;

(f) a legal framework reviewing the fit between borrower laws and regulations and Bank policy requirements and measures proposed to bridge any gaps between them;

(g) methods of valuing affected assets;

(h) organizational procedures for delivery of entitlements, including, for projects involving private sector intermediaries, the responsibilities of the financial intermediary, the government, and the private developer;

(i) a description of the implementation process, linking resettlement implementation to civil works;

(j) a description of grievance redress mechanisms;

(k) a description of the arrangements for funding resettlement, including the preparation and review of cost estimates, the flow of funds, and contingency arrangements;

(l) a description of mechanisms for consultations with, and participation of, displaced persons in planning, implementation, and monitoring; and

(m) arrangements for monitoring by the implementing agency and, if required, by independent monitors.

25. When a resettlement policy framework is the only document that needs to be submitted as a condition of the loan, the resettlement plan to be submitted as a condition of subproject financing need not include the policy principles, entitlements, and eligibility criteria, organizational arrangements, arrangements for monitoring and evaluation, the framework for participation, and mechanisms for grievance redress set forth in the resettlement policy framework. The subproject-specific resettlement plan needs to include baseline census and socioeconomic survey information; specific compensation rates and standards; policy entitlements related to any additional impacts identified through the census or survey; description of resettlement sites and programs for improvement or restoration of livelihoods and standards of living; implementation schedule for resettlement activities; and detailed cost estimate.

Process Framework

26. A process framework is prepared when Bank-supported projects may cause restrictions in access to natural resources in legally designated parks and protected areas. The purpose of the process framework is to establish a process by which members of potentially affected communities participate in design of project components, determination of measures necessary to achieve resettlement policy objectives, and implementation and monitoring of relevant project activities (see OP 4.12, paras. 7 and 31).

27. Specifically, the process framework describes participatory processes by which the following activities will be accomplished

(a) Project components will be prepared and implemented. The document should briefly describe the project and components or activities that may involve new or more stringent restrictions on natural resource use. It should also describe the process by which potentially displaced persons participate in project design.

(b) Criteria for eligibility of affected persons will be determined. The document should establish that potentially affected communities will be involved in identifying any adverse impacts, assessing of the significance of impacts, and establishing of the criteria for eligibility for any mitigating or compensating measures necessary.

(c) Measures to assist affected persons in their efforts to improve their livelihoods or restore them, in real terms, to pre-displacement levels, while maintaining the sustainability of the park or protected area will be identified. The document should describe methods and procedures by which communities will identify and choose potential mitigating or compensating measures to be provided to those adversely affected, and procedures by which adversely affected community members will decide among the options available to them.

(d) Potential conflicts or grievances within or between affected communities will be resolved. The document should describe the process for resolving disputes relating to resource use restrictions that may arise between or among affected communities, and grievances that may arise from members of communities who are dissatisfied with the eligibility criteria, community planning measures, or actual implementation.

Additionally, the process framework should describe arrangements relating to the following

(e) Administrative and legal procedures. The document should review agreements reached regarding the process approach with relevant administrative jurisdictions and line ministries (including clear delineation for administrative and financial responsibilities under the project).

(f) Monitoring arrangements. The document should review arrangements for participatory monitoring of project activities as they relate to (beneficial and adverse) impacts on persons within the project impact area, and for monitoring the effectiveness of measures taken to improve (or at minimum restore) incomes and living standards.


  1. With regard to land and structures, "replacement cost" is defined as follows: For agricultural land, it is the pre-project or pre-displacement, whichever is higher, market value of land of equal productive potential or use located in the vicinity of the affected land, plus the cost of preparing the land to levels similar to those of the affected land, plus the cost of any registration and transfer taxes. For land in urban areas, it is the pre-displacement market value of land of equal size and use, with similar or improved public infrastructure facilities and services and located in the vicinity of the affected land, plus the cost of any registration and transfer taxes. For houses and other structures, it is the market cost of the materials to build a replacement structure with an area and quality similar to or better than those of the affected structure, or to repair a partially affected structure, plus the cost of transporting building materials to the construction site, plus the cost of any labor and contractors' fees, plus the cost of any registration and transfer taxes. In determining the replacement cost, depreciation of the asset and the value of salvage materials are not taken into account, nor is the value of benefits to be derived from the project deducted from the valuation of an affected asset. Where domestic law does not meet the standard of compensation at full replacement cost, compensation under domestic law is supplemented by additional measures so as to meet the replacement cost standard. Such additional assistance is distinct from resettlement measures to be provided under other clauses in OP 4.12, para. 6.
  2. Provision of health care services, particularly for pregnant women, infants, and the elderly, may be important during and after relocation to prevent increases in morbidity and mortality due to malnutrition, the psychological stress of being uprooted, and the increased risk of disease.
  3. Negative impacts that should be anticipated and mitigated include, for rural resettlement, deforestation, overgrazing, soil erosion, sanitation, and pollution; for urban resettlement, projects should address such density-related issues as transportation capacity and access to potable water, sanitation systems, and health facilities.
  4. Experience has shown that local NGOs often provide valuable assistance and ensure viable community participation.
  5. OP 4.11, Physical Cultural Resources.
  6. The costs of establishing the grievance procedures for the project shall be included in the project costs.
  7. In case some of the displaced persons lose more than 10% of their productive assets or require physical relocation, the plan also covers a socioeconomic survey and income restoration measures.
OP 4.12 - Involuntary Resettlement