Resettlement Planning in a Development Context I - Presentation 3

Measuring Social Vulnerability to Resettlement


There are new dam projects in Portugal. Fridao Hydroelectric Dam involves resettling 60 families which in Portugal is a big deal.


How will communities adapt to resettlement?

By assessing how vulnerable they were, we therefore used their psycho-social vulnerability.


Literature identified the following indicators:

  • Age
  • Education
  • Income
  • Strong local identity
  • Knowledge about the process
  • ...
Data collection:

  • Community meeting
  • Introductory survey - socio demographic info only
  • Group family interview - psychosocial info at family level
  • Individual survey - psychosocial info at individual level

Identified risk factors and protection factors and then developed a quantities summing methodology to

Indicator SV = SUM Risk - SUM Protective


Strength is that this approach can characterise each individual and household.



  • Theory driven measure so very robust and can be used in follow up
  • Can pinpoint who is most vulnerable and therefore can mange the social and economic resources and can engage neighbours to provide vulnerable individuals and households with extra support
  • Can define very specific interventions before, during and after the resettlement


  • We are not yet there in how this approach should be implemented bu we have some ideas on using it to manage economic and social resources.
  • A high social vulnerability would not mean that a project should be abandoned, partly this about how we do things no whether we do it or not.
  • How do you reflect these indicator in terms for example amount of compensation? We used a social network analysis to understand relationship, our recommendation was to ensu that the social network remins as dense as they a now, that they will be resettled together not just paying the cost of the house e.g. In Portugal they can pay double the market value of the home, but that is not enough.
  • The interviews were conducted at home to make them feel most comfortable and relate more to their place. We needed to build trust in order to gather good info.


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