Environmental Governance and Policy


1 November 2001

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

Navroz K Dubash, Mairi Dupar, Smitu Kothari and Tundu Lissu


The World Commission on Dams (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.

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