A Watershed in Global Governance: An Independent Assessment of the World Comission on Dams

Edited by Navroz K Dubash, Mairi Dupar, Smitu Kothari, and Tundu Lissu
World Resources Institute

"Will governments be running the world in the next century? In this era of globalization, who will make the rules on investment, human rights and environment? How can citizens participate?"

These are some of the questions a team of researchers from World Resources Institute (WRI, Washington, D.C.), Lawyers' Environmental Action Team (LEAT, Dar Es Salaam) and South Asia address in an independent assessment of the World Commission on Dams (WCD).

The WCD was a self-styled "experiment" in global public policy-making. It was set up to produce a set of international guidelines for the design, construction, operation and decommissioning of large dams and options on their alternatives.

The WCD undertook this task over two years, with a pledge to be independent, transparent, inclusive and representative of a diverse body of stakeholders. Participants in the process have included dam-building companies, multilateral development banks, affected people's groups and other non-governmental organizations, private consultants, and the public at large.