Involuntary Resettlement Action Plan (RAP)
The resettlement planning is reflected in an Action Plan for the Resettlement (RAP) , a document usually prepared by the extractive company or other parties responsible for the resettlement (as government agencies, for instance), which specifies the procedures and measures to be applied in order to duly resettle and compensate the affected individuals and communities.
The RAP must: (i) identify all individuals affected by the project and (ii) justify the resettlement after having examined all the alternatives that may reduce the resettlement to the minimum or avoid it at all. The RAP outlines the eligibility criteria for the affected parties; it establishes the compensation rates for lost assets or restrictions on their use, and it describes the support levels for moving and repairing the affected households.
Elements of a RAP
These are the main elements of a RAP:
Brief description of the project and its components.
2. Reduction of the Involuntary Resettlement to the minimum
Description of the efforts made and the mechanisms used to reduce resettlements to the minimum.
3. Effects of the project and definition of affected population
The effects of the project and the affected populations must be determined following a series of steps:
- Mapping to identify the characteristics of populations and communities, such as assets with a cultural value, housing, infrastructure, use of soil, water resources, etc.
- Census of the affected people and their location. The census usually serves as the basis to establish a deadline or cut-off date to be eligible to receive the benefits from the resettlement.
- Inventory of goods to be replaced, organized by households, companies, and communities;
- Surveys and socio-economic studies of all affected individuals;
- Analysis of surveys and studies to establish compensation parameters, plan initiatives appropriate for sustainable development and to reestablish the livelihood, and identify follow-up indicators. The following must also be taken into account:
- Preservation of cultural assets – The PAR must document all activities that may be necessary to protect, transport and reestablish the cultural assets of the affected populations.
- Special assistance for women and vulnerable groupsConsultations with the affected populations regarding the mitigation of the effects and development opportunities
4. Definition and explanation of the legal framework to acquire land and get the compensation
5. Framework for the compensation. The type and amount of the compensation, the eligibility and the persons responsible for making payments, as well as the payment dates, must be defined.
6. Description of the support for involuntary resettlement and the reestablishment of productive activities.
- Selection and preparation of the place where the populations will be resettled.
- Preparation and proceedings to move the resettled individuals.
- Relocation schedule and definition of assistance to be supplied
- Replacement of services
- Reestablishment of the livelihood
- Preservation of cultural assets
- Special assistance for women and vulnerable groups
7. Itemized budget
8. Performance schedule
9. Description of the responsibilities of all stakeholders
10. A structure to consult the communities and participation of the communities in the development planning
11. Description of the means to deal with grievances and complaints
12. A framework for follow-up, evaluation and reporting activities
Follow-up of results, the effects of the resettlement, and audit at the end of the RAP.
When a project contemplates an Involuntary Resettlement, the RAP becomes an essential component to evaluate the environmental and social effects of the project and the plan of action. As noted, all components are closely related.
IFC specialists require that the mining, oil or gas company following and complying with a series of measures to meet the applicable environmental and social protection policies, both before and after the approval of the project.
Given that these are complex processes that entail a lot of information, it is important to systematize the processes, the information and the access to it, as well as the reports to be delivered. An information management system is a very useful tool for management and to have updated information. This is very useful to face the concerns of the affected population, improve transparency and have auditable processes.