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Benefit Sharing in Hydropower Projects in India (Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh) and Upper Indus in Pakistan

Donors/Partners: ICIMOD

Locale: Pakistan

Duration of Project: January 2018- October 2018


In most countries of South Asia, including India and Pakistan, lack of standard policy directives on benefit sharing have allowed the hydropower projects to define benefits either based on their own understanding as a “corporate social responsibility” (CSR) or through negotiations with local communities in an attempt to obtain social license to operate hydropower projects. Within benefit sharing, what actually constitutes benefits has been debatable and considerably varies across hydropower projects. Even if specific benefits are shared, variations exist among hydropower projects in terms of how they are shared – through environmental and social impact mitigation strategies or through separate mechanisms such as corporate social responsibility or other structures and mechanisms.

Within the current context of rapidly changing investment in hydropower sector and involvement of multiple actors, it is imperative and highly pertinent to conduct research on benefit sharing to have an understanding of first, how benefits from hydropower projects are understood by various stakeholders, including project developers, government and the citizens and second, how are they practiced.

Program/Project Brief:

Hydropower projects have made an important and significant contribution to human development, and the benefits derived from them have been considerable, however in too many cases an unacceptable and often unnecessary price has been paid to secure those benefits, especially in social and environmental terms, by people displaced, by communities downstream, by taxpayers and by the natural environment. It is under this backdrop that the study is being undertaken to ensure how development can be equitable; gains and benefits equally shared.


To assess what are being shared as “benefits” by the hydropower projects in Pakistan How are these “benefits” being shared in our study sites? Work/activities accomplished Attended a methodology workshop in Nepal. One day event.

Team Members: Dr. Imran S. Khalid and Ahmed Awais Khaver

Status: closed