World Bank prepares communications guidelines for hydro development

The World Bank is preparing communications guidelines for those involved in hydropower development, as part of the bank’s efforts to promote sustainable hydro development and to reduce risk of corruption at the project level.

The initiative, being implemented by the bank’s Development Communications Division, is called �Good Practice Communications Guidelines for Governance Reform and Sustainable Infrastructure Development: Opportunities in Dam Planning and Management.�

It follows World Bank Working Paper 121, which assesses the need to enhance the role of communications in linking dam planning and management to governance, anti-corruption reforms, and innovation to reduce impediments to sustainable hydro development.

The initiative is supported by the Bank Netherlands Water Partnership Program. A Partner Network of stakeholders also has been formed including the International Hydropower Association, Transparency International, the World Conservation Union, World Wildlife Fund, and development communication associations.

The 14-month effort is to feature case studies, training modules, and preparation of a good practice �toolkit� or primer for bank operational staff and those involved in hydro development.

Case studies are to include the 50-MW Bumbuna hydroelectric project in Sierra Leone (HNN 8/14/07), the Berg River Dam water project in South Africa, and the 1,050-MW Dniester pumped-storage project in the Ukraine. (HNN 5/31/07)

The bank said the initiative is in line with a call by multi-lateral development agencies for improved communications at all stages of the project cycle and for more effective ways to enlist local media and civil society to help reduce risk exposures in hydropower development.

For information on the initiative, contact Leonardo Mazzei, Development Communications Division, External Affairs Senior Vice Presidency, World Bank, Washington, DC, U.S.A.; (1) 202-473-6282; Fax: (1) 202-522-2654; E-mail: lmazzei@worldbank.org.

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