Skip to main content

Social science research and the crafting of policy on population resettlement

Abstract

This article explores the obliviousness syndrome—how research relevant for practice is ignored—and the premises for overcoming this syndrome. It analyzes how and why a certain body of social science concepts and research findings, generated through decades of field study, had been long abandoned “on the shelf,” ignored and unused in relevant policies and programs. This body of knowledge became influentiial only after being incorporated into the policy of an international organization. In turn, the organization and its policy became more effective in that field once this long discounted knowledge was absorbed. The article discusses the cognitive dissonance displayed by governments and development agenciesvis-à-vis relevant research findings, and how such dissonance inhibits the natural flow of knowledge supply and demand. It also describes how an organization’s culture and habits of knowledge-rejection or knowledge-absorption can be changed. The author explores some key methodological and epistemological issues of translating theory and research findings into policy prescriptions and germane implementation procedures.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  • Ackerman, W., White, G.F. & Worthington, E.B. (Eds.). (1973).Manmade lakes: Their problems and environmental effects. Washington, DC: American Geophysical Union, Monograph No. 17.

    Google Scholar 

  • Adams, W.M. (1985).The downstream impacts of dam construction: A Case Study from Nigeria. Transactions of the British Institute of Geographers, 292–302.

  • Anderson, Martin. (1965).The federal bulldozer: A critical analysis of urban renewal: 1949–1962. Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Armour, Audrey. (1989). Integrating impact assessment in the planning process: From Rhetoric to Reality.Impact Assessment Bulletin, Vol. 9, No. 1(2).

  • Armour, Audrey. (1991).Impact assessment and the planning process: A status report. Presentation to the 11th Annual Meeting of the International Association for Impact Assessment, June.

  • Baum, Warren C. (1982).The project cycle. Washington, DC: The World Bank.

    Google Scholar 

  • Billson, Janet Mancini. (1990). Opportunity or tragedy: The impact of Canadian resettlement policy on Inuit families.American Review of Canadian Studies, 20(2), 187–218 Summer.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Brokensha, David & Scudder, Thayer. (1968). Resettlement. In N. Rubin and W.M. Warren, (Eds.).Dams in Africa: An interdisciplinary study of man-made lakes in Africa. London: Frank Cass.

    Google Scholar 

  • Burdge, Rabel J. (1989). Utilizing social impact assessment variables in the planning model.Impact Assessment Bulletin, Vol. 8, No. 1(2).

  • Burdge, Rabel J. & Opryszek, P. (1981).Coping with change: An interdisciplinary assessment of the Lake Shelbyville Reservoir. Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Butcher, David. (1990). Review of the Treatment of Environmental Aspects of Bank Energy Projects. World Bank Industry and Energy Department, PRE Working Paper. The World Bank (March).

  • Butcher, David. (1971).An organizational manual for resettlement: A systematic approach to the resettlement problem created by man-made lakes, with special reference for West Africa. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cernea, Michael M. (1993). Disaster-related refugee flows and development-caused population displacement. In M. Cernea and S. Guggenheim, (Eds.).Anthropological approaches to involuntary resettlement: Policy, practice and theory. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cernea, Michael M. (1991). Involuntary resettlement: Social research, policy and planning. In M.M. Cernea (Ed.).Putting people first: Sociological variables in rural development, second edition. New York and London: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Cernea, Michael M. (1990). Poverty risks from population displacement in water resources development. Development Discussion Paper No. 355. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Institute for International Development, Harvard University (August).

    Google Scholar 

  • Cernea, Michael M. (1989). Metropolitan development and compulsory population relocation. Policy issues and project experiences.Regional Development Dialogue, 10 (4).

  • Cernea, Michael M. (1989). Anthropology, policy and involuntary resettlement.British Association for Social Anthropology in Policy and Practice. Newsletter, No. 4, Autumn.

  • Cernea, Michael M. (1988a). Involuntary resettlement and development.Finance and Development (September).

  • Cernea, Michael M. (1988b).Involuntary resettlement in development projects. Policy guidelines in World Bank-financed projects. World Bank Technical Paper No. 80. Washington, DC: World Bank.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chambers, Robert. (Ed.). (1970).The Volta resettlement experience. London: Pall Mall Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Colson, Elizabeth. (1985). Using anthropology in a world on the move.Human Organization, 44(3).

  • Colson, Elizabeth. (1971).The social consequences of resettlement: The impact of the Kariba resettlement upon the Gwembe Tonga. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dentler, Robert A. (1969).Urban problems: Perspectives and solutions. Chicago, IL: Rand McNally.

    Google Scholar 

  • Deruyterre, Anne. (1992). InterAmerican development bank’s experience with involuntary resettlement: Some comments. Paper presented at the Conference on Urban Relocation: Policy and Practice, Institute of Housing Studies, Rotterdam (February).

  • Dhagamwar, Vasudha. (1989). Rehabilitation: Policy and institutional changes required. In Walter Fernandes and Enakshi G. Thukral (Eds.).Development, displacement and rehabilitation. New Delhi: Indian Social Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fahim, Hussein. (1983).Egyptian Nubians: Resettlement and years of coping. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fahim, Hussein. (1981).Dams, people, and development. New York: Pergamon Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fernandes, W. & Thukral, E.G. (1989).Development, displacement and rehabilitation. New Delhi: Indian Social Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  • Fernea, Robert. (1973).Nubians in Egypt. Austin: University of Texas Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Finsterbush, Kurt. (1980).Understanding social Impacts. Assessing the effects of public projects. Beverley Hills, London: Sage Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gans, Herbert J. (1959). The human implications of current redevelopment and relocation planning.Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 25(11) 15–25.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gans, Herbert J. (1968).People and plans: Essays on urban problems and solutions. New York: Basic Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Geiser, P. (1986).The Egyptian Nubian. Cairo, Egypt: The American University in Cairo Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Guggenheim, Scott E. (1990). Development and the dynamics of displacement. Paper presented for the Workshop on Rehabilitation of Displaced Persons sponsored by Institute for Social and Economic Change and MYRADA, Bangalore, India.

  • Guggenheim, Scott E. (1993).Sectoral planning for resettlement in Colombia. Manuscript.

  • Hartman, Chester. (1964). The housing of relocated families.Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 30: 266–286.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hartman, Chester. (1979). Comments on neighborhood revitalization and displacement: A review of the evidence.APA Journal, 45: 488–490.

    Google Scholar 

  • Heller, T. (1982). The effects of involuntary residential relocation: A review.American Journal of Community Psychology, 10: 471–492.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Huang, Yao Fei. (1984). On the reform of resettlement policies in China.Chinese Journal of Water Conservation, Number 6.

  • Inter-American Development Bank. (1990).Strategies and procedures on socio-cultural issues as related to the environment. Washington, DC: Environmental Committee/Inter-American Development Bank. (June).

    Google Scholar 

  • Janowitz, Morris. (1970).Political conflict: Essays in political sociology. Chicago: Quadrangle Books.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mankodi, Kashyap. (1989). Displacement and relocation: Problems and prospects. In W. Fernandes and E.G. Thukral (Eds.).Development, displacement and rehabilitation (p. 150). New Delhi: Indian Social Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  • MARG (Multiple Action Research Group). (1987).Sardar Sarovar oustees in Madhya Pradesh: What do they know? Vol. I–III. New Delhi: M.A.R.G.

    Google Scholar 

  • Morse, Bradford & Berger, Thomas. (1992).Sardar Sarovar: A report of the independent review. Ottawa, Canada: Resource Future International (RFI) Inc.

    Google Scholar 

  • Mougeot, Luc J.A. (1988).Hydroelectric development and involuntary resettlement in Brazilian Amazonia: Planning and evaluation (p.106). Edinburgh: Cobham Resource Consultants.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nayak, Jayendra. (1989). Rehabilitating the displaced: A critique of policy for Upper Krishna Project. Paper presented at the seminar on Resettlement Planning and Implementation, Jakarta, Indonesia, (June).

  • Oliver-Smith, Anthony. (1991). Involuntary resettlement: Resistance and political empowerment.Journal of Refugee Studies, 4(2): 132–149.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). (1992). Development assistance committee.Guidelines for aid agencies on involuntary displacement and resettlement in development projects. Paris: OECD.

    Google Scholar 

  • Partridge, William L. (1990). Involuntary resettlement in development projects.Journal of Refugee Studies, 2(3): 373–384.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rajagopalan, Visvanathan. (1989). Policy and planning in involuntary resettlement,The Bank’s World, 9(September).

  • Rew, A. W. & Driver, P. A. (1986). Initial evaluation of the social and environmental impact of the Victoria Dam Project. Overseas Development Evaluation Report.Evaluation of the Victoria Dam Project in Sri Lanka, Vol. III. London: Overseas Development Administration Evaluation Department.

    Google Scholar 

  • Roy-Burman, B.K. (1961).Social processes in the industrialization of Rourkhela. New Delhi: Census of India.

    Google Scholar 

  • Salem-Murdock, M. (1989).Arabs and Nubians in New Halfa. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schuh, G. Edward. (1993). Involuntary Resettlement, Human Capital, and Economic Development. Cernea, M. M. and Scott Guggenheim. (Eds).Anthropological Approaches to Involuntary Resettlement: Policy, Practice and Theory. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schuh, G. E., Le Moigne, G., Cernea, M. M. & Goodland, R. (1988).Social and environmental impacts of dams. The World Bank experience. Transactions of the sixteenth congress on large dams, June 13–17, San Francisco. France: ICOLD.

    Google Scholar 

  • Scudder, Thayer. (1985). Sociological Framework for the Analysis of New Land Settlements. Cernea, M. (Ed.).Putting People First. Sociological Variables in Development. New York and London: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Scudder, Thayer. (1973). The Human Ecology of Big Projects: River Basin Development and Resettlement. Siegel B. (Ed.).Annual Review of Anthropology. Palo Alto.

  • Scudder, Thayer & Colson, Elizabeth. (1982). From welfare to development: A conceptual framework for analysis of dislocated people. In Hansen, A. and Oliver-Smith, A. (Eds.).Involuntary migration and resettlement. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shihata, Ibrahim F. (1993). Some legal aspects of involuntary population displacement. In Michael M. Cernea and Scott E. Guggenheim. (Eds.).Anthropological approaches to involuntary resettlement: Policy, practice, and theory. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Shihata, Ibrahim F. (1988). The World Bank and human rights: An analysis of the legal issues and the record of achievements.Denver Journal of International Law & Politics, 17:39 et seq.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sorbo, Gunnar. (1977).How to survive development: The story of New Halfa. Khartoum, Sudan Development Studies and Research Center.

    Google Scholar 

  • State Council of the People’s Republic of China. (1991). Decree No. 74.Regulations for land compensation and resident resettlement necessitated by the construction of large- and medium-scaled water conservancy and hydroelectric projects (Adopted February).

  • Thukral, E. Ganguli. (Ed.). (1992).Big dams, displaced people. New Delhi: Sage Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  • Suarez, F. R. Franco, & Cohen, E. (1984).Efectos sociales de las Grandes Represas en America Latina. Buenos Aires, Argentina: CIDES-ILPES.

    Google Scholar 

  • United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. (1981).Residential displacement: An update—Report to Congress. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office (GPO).

    Google Scholar 

  • United States, Laws of 100th Congress. (1987).Title IV—Uniform Relocation Act. Amendments of 1987. Public Law 100–17; Sec. 310. Revisions to 1970 Uniform Relocation Act.

  • United States, Laws of 91st Congress. (1970).Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970. Public Law 91–646: Sec. 84. Stat 1894.

  • Varma, S.C. (1985).Human resettlement in the Lower Narmada Basin. Bhopal: Government Central Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • World Bank. (1990). Operational Directive No. 4.30.Involuntary resettlement.

  • World Bank. (1980). Operational Manual Statement No. 2.33.Social issues associated with involuntary resettlement in bank-financed projects (February).

  • World Bank. (1986). Operational Manual Statement No. 10.08.Operations policy issues in the treatment of involuntary resettlement.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Additional information

The views and interpretations expressed in this study are those of the author and should not necessarily be attributed to the institution with which he is associated.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Cernea, M.M. Social science research and the crafting of policy on population resettlement. Knowledge and Policy 6, 176 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02696288

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02696288

Keywords

  • Cognitive Dissonance
  • Poverty Risk
  • Bank Staff
  • Population Displacement
  • Social Science Knowledge