Winter School - Land Acquisition, Resettlement and Social Sustainability, 9-20 November 2015, University of Groningen, Netherlands

Publish Date: Jun 19, 2015

Event Dates: from Nov 09, 2015 12:00 to Nov 20, 2015 12:00

This summer school (practical training course) promotes understanding about and develops skills in managing the social risks and impacts associated to the development of public and private investment projects (e.g. mines, dams, highways, industry parks, electricity transmission corridors, agricultural developments, et cetera), and particularly issues related to land acquisition and resettlement. Research into the displacement of peoples following large projects generally shows that, unless properly planned and managed, they are made worse-off.

With the increasing number of international standards (e.g. World Bank safeguard policies, IFC Performance Standards, EBRD Performance Requirements, Equator Principles, and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights), there are established international standards and good practices that are expected to be met in the development of investment projects. The varying cultural and developmental contexts of different countries also presents significant challenges to fully implementing these standards. There are also concerns about human rights infringements.

This training course will be based on good international practices and standards, lessons learned on the ground and practical case studies, and will include a technical site visit to a resettlement site. The course will be delivered by some of the world’s leading social assessment and resettlement practitioners, specialists from international development institutions, as well as key academics from the University of Groningen, to provide capacity building in the practice of managing the social issues of investment projects focusing on land acquisition and resettlement. It is targeted to an international audience of current and intending social performance and resettlement practitioners and people involved in the governance of projects from public and private institutions, and is also open to advanced students interested in the practical management of social issues associated with development.



This summer school is an applied training course intended for practitioners or applied social researchers from public and private institutions interested in the practical aspects of social assessment, project-induced displacement and resettlement. Applicants are expected to be either:

(a) actually involved in development projects as a practitioner or in the governance of projects; OR
(b) a researcher or academic at Masters level, PhD, postdoc or even academic teaching staff having a clear reason for wanting to do this practical course.

Language Requirements

Full professional fluency in English is required.

Other requirements

In your application you need to provide the following documents:

  • Short statement of interest
  • Short CV

Course Information

Programme (preliminary)

A detailed program will be provided to participants prior to the course. In general, the course will cover all aspects of land acquisition involving resettlement, including:

  • Welcome, introductions, overview of the course as a whole;
  • General introduction to social issues and development challenges;
  • Overview of resettlement as a process;
  • Basic underlying concepts such as social license to operate; business case; free, prior and informed consent; human rights; sustainable livelihoods;
  • Introduction to human rights;
  • Overview of the various International Standards: World Bank social safeguards, IFC Performance Standards, EBRD, IAIA guidelines, United Nations Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights, relevant legal principles and frameworks;
  • Understanding social impacts and social risks of investment projects (including sustainable livelihoods; resilience; vulnerability; ecosystem services; health impacts);
  • Ways of assessing and addressing social issues and tools to use (social impact assessment, baselines, profiles);
  • Stakeholder Engagement and grievance mechanisms and conflict;
  • Linking livelihoods restoration to Local Employment and Local Procurement ;
  • Field trip to a resettlement site;
  • Resettlement planning;
  • Resettlement impacts, risk and opportunity assessment;
  • Resettlement mitigation measures;
  • Resettlement Review, Monitoring & Evaluation, Audits, Completion Audits.


In addition to the course coordinator, Prof Frank Vanclay , the course will include, among others, some of the leading social assessment and resettlement practitioners, including Mike Steyn (Intersocial), Dr Ana Maria Esteves and Gabriela Factor (Community Insights Group), Frederic Giovannetti and Jorge Villegas (World Bank).

EC/Certificate of Attendance

Students can opt to receive 5 EC (subject to submitting a report).

Methods used

Lectures, workshops, group work, fieldtrip, practical examples, detailed case study.

Faculties involved

Globalisation Studies Groningen
Faculty of Spatial Sciences


  • Frederic Giovannetti

More Information


For information regarding hotels, kindly contact Mr. Philippe Hanna (


The course fees will vary according to the designation of the participant:

(i) €2500 for private sector practitioners and government representatives from OECD countries;

(ii) €1250 discount rate for NGO participants and government representatives from non-OECD countries;

(iii) €900 for university researchers (postdoc, PhD and Masters).

Contact person

Questions about this summer school can be sent to Prof. Frank Vanclay.

General information

General information about the summer schools of the University of Groningen can be found on the central page.

Apply now

Participants will be selected based on resettlement experience. Please note that a maximum of 35 applications will be accepted. Applications will close once this number is reached.

Load the online application form .

Contact person
Prof. Frank Vanclay (

Further Official Information

Link to Original

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