printer printer Click on the green icon on the right
Manipulating Consent:The World Bank and Public Consultation in the Nam Theun 2 Hydroelectric Project
by Shalmali Guttal , Bruce Shoemaker
12 December 2004

The World Bank is currently considering providing financial support to o­ne of the most controversial projects in Southeast Asia, the Nam Theun 2 Hydroelectric Project in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos). Although the Bank has not yet publicly declared its decision to appraise the project - appraisal indicates that the project will be submitted to the Bank’s Board of Executive Directors for approval - it has been involved, both financially and institutionally, in the project for more than 15 years.

The World Bank funded the first feasibility study for Nam Theun 2, has helped the Government of Laos to appoint and finance a Panel of Experts to advise o­n the handling of social and environmental issues in the project and legal experts to negotiate financing arrangements, and has required the project developer to undertake social, environmental, economic and resettlement studies that have been instrumental in project preparation. The World Bank also required a “public consultation” procedure for the Nam Theun 2.

Source: Focus on the Global South (, september 2004.

Shalmali Guttal
Bruce Shoemaker