Hydropower projects are built and operated to provide electricity and other services such as irrigation or flood management. In addition to these core functions, they can also provide further benefits in nearby areas. A fair and transparent process for sharing project benefits with local stakeholders and affected communities ensures that projects contribute to sustainable development. A well-designed programme of benefit sharing demonstrates that developers and operators are acting responsibly towards local communities. This may in turn facilitate public acceptance, avoid business risks, and increase the economic viability of a project.