The Process of Social Impact Assessment in Hydropower Projects

20.05.2019 Carole Rosenlund

Ghana Week 32 | Date: 5. August – 9. August, 2019 | Application deadline: 24. June 2019
Registration fee: 1000 USD | Fees included course materials, accommodation and meals

 Renewable energy projects invariably have ecological and social footprints that can be manifold and affect physical structures, land used for agriculture or grazing, forest lands and water ways for fisheries and mobility. These impacts can cause loss (or changes) in;

  • the natural resource base
  • livelihoods
  • cultural heritage and access
  • resettlement.

Social Impact Assessment (SIA) is an instrument that is part of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) process that is required by international and national institutes/governments.

SIA is used to acquire an acute baseline of data and knowledge impact that a planned project may have. Impact assessments as the SIA process require the use of methods for data collection and communication which provide the basis for understanding project impacts and importantly how the impacts may be avoided and minimized. Local communities living within the project footprint area
are usually subject to relocation which requires not only detailed documentation of households but also compensation and livelihood restoration: neither of which can be handled adequately
without baseline data.

The course provides the essential processes, methods/approaches and mitigation and enhancement measures that are elemental to assuring representativeness, fair- ness and sustainable well-being of affected communities. The course draws from both African and international examples.

The course will introduce the participants to procedures that should be followed in order to comply with today’s requirements for a sound social impact assessment process, including strategic priorities and national guidelines, and to provide tools for planning hydropower and other waterrelated projects in the best possible way on a national, regional and local level.


  • Background and development of SIA
  • Impact assessment methodologies
  • Baseline data and mitigation measures
  • Stakeholder consultation process
  • Resettlement
  • Livelihood development
  • Health issues
  • The role of NGO’s and monitoring
  • Environmental and technical issues
  • Indigenous peoples and vulnerable groups
  • Institutional strengthening and capacity building
  • Financial and budget issues
  • Corporate Social responsibility

The course is aimed at power companies, ministries, authorities, NGO’s, relevant private enterprises and others working with development of water resources requiring structured knowledge of the SIA process.

Executives of power companies, ministries, water resource and energy agencies and relevant private sector enterprises with management responsibility or influence on project planning
will benefit from this course.

The course will also be of value to engineers working in water resources planning and multipurpose projects.

Participants are expected to arrive in Ghana on Sunday 4th August, and leave no earlier than Saturday 10th August. Information on travel, detailed course programme and other relevant information will be sent to all selected participants in due course.

All lecturers and resource persons are well-known specialists within their field, and they have extensive international and regional experience.

Attending the courses is an opportunity to discuss and learn about current energy sector issues related to Hydropower and other renewables together with professionals from the
continent and abroad.

Participants are encouraged to bring along information that can be shared about pending energy and hydro- power issues of your interest.


  • A minimum of about 5 years of working experience is required.
  • Applicants should hold an applicable degree or possess relevant background knowledge.
  • Proficiency in English is compulsory for all the courses Notice of admission will be given shortly after the application closing date.

ICH reserves the right to accept or reject any applicant based on their qualifications and experience.

Information on travel, detailed course programme and other relevant information will be sent to all participants in due course.

Participants are expected to arrive at the venue of the course the day prior to the course start and leave no earlier than the day after end of the course.

The course fee includes lectures, materials, accommodation, meals, a social programme and fieldtrips if applicable.

International travel expenses are not included. There is a reduced fee for ICH members.

A limited number of sponsored seats are available for participants from countries prioritized by NORAD (Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation).

Those who would like a guaranteed seat on the course should secure their own funding.

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The purpose of ICH is to raise the standards of competence of the industry personnel and promote the sustainable development of hydropower
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