Local benefit sharing is an important aspect of hydropower projects’
support for the development aspirations of project-affected people
and communities—beyond direct impact mitigation. To learn more
about what hydro projects are doing and how they are embedding local
benefit sharing into their operations, IFC embarked on an extensive
two-year study, involving field visits to project sites around the world,
interviews with project personnel and community stakeholders, and desk research to capture the current state of practice. The result of this research is a compendium of case studies and good practices collectively called Capturing Hydropower’s Promise Report Series. This publication features in-depth case studies on how local benefit sharing approaches are put into practice. The case studies provide an inside look at the opportunities and challenges for hydro project developers as they strive to incorporate benefit sharing into their operations. The experiences of projects detailed here serve to underscore the complexities associated with identifying an optimal path—and the importance of attending to the unique circumstances of the individual project and affected communities. Clearly, there is no single one-size-fits all approach or template that companies can follow to achieve optimal outcomes, especially since what represents an optimal outcome will vary from project to project, even with the same sponsors. The case studies draw from different regions around the world, with an eye toward demonstrating the ways in which national and regional norms influence the approach.