Involuntary Population Displacement and the Evolving Policy Response Workshop

9 October 2007, 2:15 PM at the Metropolis Conference Venue, Sofitel, Hotel Melbourne. This workshop will be held as part of the 12th International Metropolis Conference, Migration, Economic Growth, and Social Cohesion. Themes include: 1) The challenge of achieving good international standards on involuntary resettlement for both public and private sector projects., 2) population movement, with concomitant economic and social impacts of displacement, and 3) case studies on resettlement planning and impoverishment risk management.


The Workshop brings together academic researchers, NGOs, policy makers, and practitioners, especially from the Asia-Pacific Region, to focus on development induced involuntary population displacement. The Workshop will examine the links between recent policy initiatives at the UN, in the private sector, among development banks, and in developing country frameworks and, through case study analysis, the impacts on the lives of those people displaced. Given increasing pressure from global investment flows, speakers will address the continuing challenge of achieving good international standards on resettlement for both public and private sector projects. A key Workshop focus will be on urban resettlement challenges.

Policy Relevance

The Workshop is directly relevant to policy formulation on involuntary resettlement for international development agencies, financial institutions, and developing country governments. Papers will address the causes and consequences of recent initiatives in enhancing the resettlement policy and legal frameworks among these agencies. They will explore the advantages and disadvantages of the country systems approach to resettlement planning and implementation. In taking stock of the evolving legal and policy frameworks, papers will explore the significance of the Equator Principles, and address such questions as whether, for example, there is a case for an international Displacement/Forced Migration Convention and agency.

Case Studies in Displacement and Resettlement Implementation

Focusing primarily on development induced displacement, case studies will address economic, social, and gender risks and impacts, particularly for urban displacement. Key themes will include impoverishment risk analysis from the perspectives, not only of planners, but also of displaced people and the choices they make in the resettlement process. Concepts of “place” will be explored, together with recommendations to address “place” whilst developing policies or resettlement packages. Outsider perceptions of displaced people, and their response to those perceptions, will be examined. Case studies will address the challenges of financing and implementing compensation and resettlement measures in widely differing local contexts, and with varying, shifting levels of understanding and support from national, regional, and local interest groups. This includes, in particular, the challenge of achieving resettlement with development that encompasses improved economic and social lives for those people displaced. Case studies will highlight the implications not only for sound resettlement planning, but also for policy formulation.


  • The first session addresses international policy issues, including panel discussion.
  • The second session focuses on detailed case studies, including panel discussion.
  • A summary will draw together recommendations for policy and practice.
  • International Comparisons and References to Best Practice

Policy analyses will review the status of the resettlement policy and legal frameworks among different countries and regions. Case studies of specific projects will compare and contrast approaches to and experiences of involuntary resettlement and impoverishment risk management, highlighting both good and bad practice, allowing comparison between countries.

Convener: Susanna Price, Visiting Fellow, Department of Anthropology, Research School of Pacific and Asian studies, Australian National University, Canberra.

Metropolis Conference Registration

Registration will be available online at the conference registration website as of early-May ( A reduced early-bird rate applies for registrations made before August 27th, 2007.


Metropolis organizers have reserved a block of rooms at several hotels in close proximity to the conference venues. You will have a choice of different price categories and amenities, and you will be able to reserve your hotel room directly with the hotel. This information is available on the conference website (

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 5 March 2014 )