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Title: Cleaning up the big muddy: A meta-synthesis of the research on the social impact of dams

Abstract

Scholars have been exploring the social impacts of dams for over 50 years, but a lack of systematic approaches has resulted in many research gaps remaining. This paper presents the first systematic review of the literature on the social impacts of dams. For this purpose, we built a sample of 217 articles published in the past 25 years via key word searches, expert consultations and bibliography reviews. All articles were assessed against an aggregate matrix framework on the social impact of dams, which combines 27 existing frameworks. We find that existing literature is highly biased with regard to: perspective (45% negative versus 5% positive); dam size (large dams are overrepresented); spatial focus (on the resettlement area); and temporal focus (5–10 years ex-post resettlement). Additionally, there is bias in terms of whose views are included, with those of dam developers rarely examined by scholars. These gaps need to be addressed in future research to advance our knowledge on the social impact of dams to support more transparency in the trade-offs being made in dam development decisions. - Highlights: • Very first systematic review of the research on dams' social impact • Biases in the literature identified, e. g. large dams over-studied,more » too much focus solely on resettlement area impacts • Implications of these biases for understanding of the topic are discussed.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22589260
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Impact Assessment Review; Journal Volume: 60; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2016 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
13 HYDRO ENERGY; DAMS; HYDROELECTRIC POWER; SOCIAL IMPACT

Citation Formats

Kirchherr, Julian, E-mail: julian.kirchherr@sant.ox.ac.uk, Pohlner, Huw, E-mail: huw.pohlner@oxfordalumni.org, and Charles, Katrina J., E-mail: katrina.charles@ouce.ox.ac.uk. Cleaning up the big muddy: A meta-synthesis of the research on the social impact of dams. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1016/J.EIAR.2016.02.007.
Kirchherr, Julian, E-mail: julian.kirchherr@sant.ox.ac.uk, Pohlner, Huw, E-mail: huw.pohlner@oxfordalumni.org, & Charles, Katrina J., E-mail: katrina.charles@ouce.ox.ac.uk. Cleaning up the big muddy: A meta-synthesis of the research on the social impact of dams. United States. doi:10.1016/J.EIAR.2016.02.007.
Kirchherr, Julian, E-mail: julian.kirchherr@sant.ox.ac.uk, Pohlner, Huw, E-mail: huw.pohlner@oxfordalumni.org, and Charles, Katrina J., E-mail: katrina.charles@ouce.ox.ac.uk. 2016. "Cleaning up the big muddy: A meta-synthesis of the research on the social impact of dams". United States. doi:10.1016/J.EIAR.2016.02.007.
@article{osti_22589260,
title = {Cleaning up the big muddy: A meta-synthesis of the research on the social impact of dams},
author = {Kirchherr, Julian, E-mail: julian.kirchherr@sant.ox.ac.uk and Pohlner, Huw, E-mail: huw.pohlner@oxfordalumni.org and Charles, Katrina J., E-mail: katrina.charles@ouce.ox.ac.uk},
abstractNote = {Scholars have been exploring the social impacts of dams for over 50 years, but a lack of systematic approaches has resulted in many research gaps remaining. This paper presents the first systematic review of the literature on the social impacts of dams. For this purpose, we built a sample of 217 articles published in the past 25 years via key word searches, expert consultations and bibliography reviews. All articles were assessed against an aggregate matrix framework on the social impact of dams, which combines 27 existing frameworks. We find that existing literature is highly biased with regard to: perspective (45% negative versus 5% positive); dam size (large dams are overrepresented); spatial focus (on the resettlement area); and temporal focus (5–10 years ex-post resettlement). Additionally, there is bias in terms of whose views are included, with those of dam developers rarely examined by scholars. These gaps need to be addressed in future research to advance our knowledge on the social impact of dams to support more transparency in the trade-offs being made in dam development decisions. - Highlights: • Very first systematic review of the research on dams' social impact • Biases in the literature identified, e. g. large dams over-studied, too much focus solely on resettlement area impacts • Implications of these biases for understanding of the topic are discussed.},
doi = {10.1016/J.EIAR.2016.02.007},
journal = {Environmental Impact Assessment Review},
number = ,
volume = 60,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 9
}
  • - Highlights: • We defend the usefulness of causal maps (CM) for ex-post impact assessment of dams. • Political decisions are presented as unavoidable technical measures. • CM enable the identification of multiple causes involved in the dam impacts. • An alternative management of the dams is shown from the precise tracking of the causes. • Participatory CM better the quality of information and the governance of the research. This paper presents the results of an ex-post assessment of two important dams in Brazil. The study follows the principles of Social Impact Management, which offer a suitable framework for analyzingmore » the complex social transformations triggered by hydroelectric dams. In the implementation of this approach, participative causal maps were used to identify the ex-post social impacts of the Porto Primavera and Rosana dams on the community of Porto Rico, located along the High Paraná River. We found that in the operation of dams there are intermediate causes of a political nature, stemming from decisions based on values and interests not determined by neutral, exclusively technical reasons; and this insight opens up an area of action for managing the negative impacts of dams.« less
  • No commonly used framework exists in the scholarly study of the social impacts of dams. This hinders comparisons of analyses and thus the accumulation of knowledge. The aim of this paper is to unify scholarly understanding of dams' social impacts via the analysis and aggregation of the various frameworks currently used in the scholarly literature. For this purpose, we have systematically analyzed and aggregated 27 frameworks employed by academics analyzing dams' social impacts (found in a set of 217 articles). A key finding of the analysis is that currently used frameworks are often not specific to dams and thus omitmore » key impacts associated with them. The result of our analysis and aggregation is a new framework for scholarly analysis (which we call ‘matrix framework’) specifically on dams' social impacts, with space, time and value as its key dimensions as well as infrastructure, community and livelihood as its key components. Building on the scholarly understanding of this topic enables us to conceptualize the inherently complex and multidimensional issues of dams' social impacts in a holistic manner. If commonly employed in academia (and possibly in practice), this framework would enable more transparent assessment and comparison of projects.« less
  • To study the impact of dam-reservoir-foundation interaction on nonlinear response of concrete gravity dams, a two-dimensional finite element model of a concrete gravity dam including the dam body, a part of its foundation and a part of the reservoir was made. In addition, the proper boundary conditions were used in both reservoir and foundation in order to absorb the energy of outgoing waves at the far end boundaries. Using the finite element method and smeared crack approach, some different seismic nonlinear analyses were done and finally, we came to a conclusion that the consideration of dam-reservoir-foundation interaction in nonlinear analysismore » of concrete dams is of great importance, because from the performance point of view, this interaction significantly improves the nonlinear response of concrete dams.« less
  • There are occasional marked discordances in BMD T-scores at the lumbar spine (LS) and femoral neck (FN). We investigated whether such discordances could contribute independently to fracture prediction using FRAX. In this paper, we studied 21,158 women, average age 63 years, from 10 prospective cohorts with baseline FRAX variables as well as FN and LS BMD. Incident fractures were collected by self-report and/or radiographic reports. Extended Poisson regression examined the relationship between differences in LS and FN T-scores (ΔLS–FN) and fracture risk, adjusted for age, time since baseline and other factors including FRAX 10-year probability for major osteoporotic fracture calculatedmore » using FN BMD. To examine the effect of an adjustment for ΔLS–FN on reclassification, women were separated into risk categories by their FRAX major fracture probability. High risk was classified using two approaches: being above the National Osteoporosis Guideline Group intervention threshold or, separately, being in the highest third of each cohort. The absolute ΔLS–FN was greater than 2 SD for 2.5 % of women and between 1 and 2 SD for 21 %. ΔLS–FN was associated with a significant risk of fracture adjusted for baseline FRAX (HR per SD change = 1.09; 95 % CI = 1.04–1.15). In reclassification analyses, only 2.3–3.2 % of the women moved to a higher or lower risk category when using FRAX with ΔLS–FN compared with FN-derived FRAX alone. Adjustment of estimated fracture risk for a large LS/FN discrepancy (>2SD) impacts to a large extent on only a relatively small number of individuals. More moderate (1–2SD) discordances in FN and LS T-scores have a small impact on FRAX probabilities. Finally, this might still improve clinical decision-making, particularly in women with probabilities close to an intervention threshold.« less