1st Edition

Managing Community Resettlement Putting Livelihoods First

By Robert Gerrits Copyright 2023
    328 Pages 35 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    328 Pages 35 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Each year millions of people are displaced from their homes and lands. While international environmental and social performance standards on land access and involuntary resettlement exist, no framework supporting livelihood restoration has been developed. This book provides a framework that will help improve practice for those who are involved in resettlement projects and, crucially, improve the outcomes for the resettlement-affected households and communities.

    Evidence from the implementation of public- and private-sector-led resettlement projects indicates that livelihood restoration is a persistent shortcoming, if not failure, across these projects. This book addresses this issue by re-characterising the ‘livelihood restoration’ objective as ‘livelihood re-establishment and development’ and proposes a framework for the entire resettlement process that puts livelihood considerations first. The framework enables proactive identification of the potential livelihood challenges associated with each step of the resettlement process (design, planning, execution, monitoring and evaluation), as well as the opportunities that resettlement, project development and induced economic growth create.

    This book is essential reading for experts in social impact assessment, resettlement specialists, planners, administrators, non-governmental and civil society organisations and students of development studies and social policy.

    1. Introduction  2. Strategic Considerations Framing Resettlement and Livelihood Re-establishment and Development  3. Livelihood Development in Resettlement – the Requirements of International Standards and Guidance for Land Acquisition, Involuntary Displacement and Resettlement  4. Understanding Livelihoods: Basic Concepts and Livelihood (Development) Models  5. The Rural Environment and Livelihoods of Rural Households  6. Assessment of the Rural Environment and Rural Livelihoods  7. Applying the Sustainable Livelihood Framework to the Assessment, Diagnosis and Design of Land Access and Resettlement  8. Re-establishment and Development of Livelihood Activities  9. Monitoring and Evaluation  10. Towards An Integrated View of Livelihood Re-establishment and Development


    Robert Gerrits is a social development specialist with 30 years of experience in applied research in rural development, the design and delivery of aid programmes and the management of social risks and impacts of large-scale private sector projects. The development of rural household livelihoods has been a central focus throughout his career.

    "Managing Community Resettlement: Putting Livelihoods First is essential reading for all those involved in land access, displacement and livelihood restoration, and who are concerned with working to improve the livelihood outcomes for communities impacted by projects."

    Gerry Reddy and Mike Steyn, Steyn Reddy Associates

    "Gerrits addresses two fundamental questions associated with livelihood development: What if? Why not? He audaciously shifts the paradigm of livelihood development for people affected by project-induced displacement. Rather than merely mitigating the impact of projects, he suggests an approach to livelihood programs that is integral for community development. He conveys an approach that creates value while ensuring long-lasting benefits associated with investments in rural communities. This is a guide for social development practitioners concerned with poor development outcomes associated with regional and local projects."

    Rachi Picardo, Social Development Expert

    "Rob Gerrits has written the book as one wearing the shoes of a displaced person. He provides a deeper look into the shortcomings of resettlement livelihood and introduces a shift from ‘livelihood improvement/restoration’ to ‘re-establishment and development of livelihoods’ as the key to successful mitigation of impacts and avoidance of the typical outcomes that return the displaced populations to historical marginal livelihoods or leave them even worse off.  The perspective provides refreshing hope for positive outcomes for displaced people."

    Susan Muchiri, Land Resource Management Expert

    "Livelihood re-establishment and development is an elusive but necessary objective. This book offers keys to unlocking some of its mysteries. It takes livelihood re-establishment and development seriously by analysing how livelihood perspectives can and should be integrated in land access and resettlement processes, including replacement village and house design, human resource organization and monitoring and evaluation. What frontline professionals will also find valuable is the author’s framing, explanation and reflection, based on years of practice."

    Ivo Lourenço Jr., Land Access and Resettlement Professional 

    "Here is an insightful and instrumental book for the development stakeholders who are preoccupied by the after-project life of the affected communities that have always suffered the shortcomings of the traditional resettlement approach. In questioning the model, Robert is urging us to take the complex but unavoidable path to increasing attention and resources for achieving the ultimate development goal which is to ensure sustainability, inclusiveness, and equity in sharing the benefits expected from development investments."

    Prof. Maman-Sani Issa, Director of the African Development Bank Group’s Department of Environmental and Social Safeguards and Compliance

    "Managing Community Resettlement: Putting Livelihoods First conceptualises livelihoods within resettlement projects through a clear set of typologies and operational recommendations for ‘livelihood re-establishment and development’. Robert Gerrit’s well laid out text provides a practical and accessible guide for resettlement planners, practitioners, financiers, policy makers, and academics alike." 

    Prof. Deanna Kemp, The University of Queensland

    "Putting livelihoods first requires time, money, and skills. Project pressure often leads to putting livelihoods last, with land acquisition and compensation taking priority. Consequences for affected people can be disastrous. Also, rural livelihoods are complex, particularly amongst the poorest layers of the affected population, who often combine different streams of income to make ends meet. Rob Gerrits’ book will provide invaluable support to practitioners and other parties involved in resettlement in understanding what to do at the successive stages of livelihood re-establishment and development (framing, planning, implementing and monitoring)."

    Frederic Giovanetti, Resettlement Consultant

    "Current standards and guidelines on development-induced displacement set out best practice for resettlement but generally focus on land acquisition. There is relatively little exploration of sustainable livelihood development in the context of land acquisition and resettlement. Managing Community Resettlement: Putting Livelihoods First recognises that successful resettlement is defined by the successful re-establishment and development of the livelihoods of the resettlement-affected people. The book combines theory and practice to offer insightful considerations on this vexing issue."

    Célio Panquene, Head of RAP Planning for EACOP

    "Improving livelihoods is a fundamental goal of many resettlement, rural development and disaster response programs - and yet there is barely consensus amongst social professionals about what a ‘livelihood’ is, let alone what strategies one might best employ to restore one. In Managing Community Resettlement: Putting Livelihoods First, Rob Gerrits provides a clear framework for defining livelihoods together with practical steps for assessing, planning, implementing and monitoring livelihood development programs. This handbook is an important resource for those of us concerned with improving the effectiveness of livelihood program strategy, design and delivery."

    Robert Barclay, Resettlement Practitioner