Photo: Timothy Herbert/OxfamAUS

What’s the solution?

Infrastructure development is supposed to be a good thing and something that benefits everyone. But this is not always the case.

And there is no one solution as the issues are so complex. But there are a few key principles that can carve the way for a more equitable approach to infrastructure development.

Know your rights

People must be able to exercise their rights when faced with potentially destructive infrastructure development. But the first step is to make sure that they actually know their rights, which is a problem for many marginalised communities. This is why we created the Citizen’s Guide to the Mekong (PDF, 1.4MB) in a number of languages – explaining the potential impacts of the infrastructure on local people’s lives. We also created the Guide to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (PDF 3MB) to help communities have a say about projects that may impact on their land, livelihood and environment.

Read more about the importance people knowing their rights.

Share the benefits

This is a no brainer. Infrastructure development is designed to improve the lives of people in developing countries. So a system of rules must be established to ensure that those who are most affected by any development, also have an opportunity to share in the benefits of that development. It’s only fair really.

Read more about sharing the benefits.