The review, entitled “The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol for use by World Bank clients: lessons learned and recommendations’, describes the protocol as “a useful tool for guiding the development of sustainable hydropower in developing countries”.
The protocol is a tool for measuring the environmental, social, technical, financial, and economic aspects of a hydropower project’s performance. It was developed by a multi-stakeholder forum featuring representatives from industry, civil society, donors, developing country governments and the finance sector over a three-year period.
Among its findings, the review concludes that:
• Developers that have applied the protocol have experienced that protocol assessments deliver value for money
• The protocol complements the World Bank’s policies and procedures for social and environmental performance, but does not replace them
• The protocol has a range of other potential uses, including a transparent framework for stakeholder dialogue and conflict resolution
The review also features a set of recommendations for World Bank clients, including that:
• A full commitment from the developer is crucial to the success of assessments, given the reliance on evidence provided
• Basic good practice defined by the protocol may not reflect standard practice in a client’s country, so managing expectations is key to successful implementation
• Achieving basic good practice across all topics is difficult in the short term, and so the focus should be on the process of continuous improvement and not a measure for comparison between countries and projects.
Source: The International Hydropower Association