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Who Benefits from Hydropower in the 21st Century? Analyzing Local Benefit Sharing of Hydropower Projects in Nepal and Developing Countries
AdvisorBerry, Kate Dr.
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This dissertation addresses three significant research questions on hydropower energy and development geography. The first research question develops a new framework for evaluating hydropower benefit-sharing arrangements (HBSAs). Specifically, this chapter argues that the current forms of HBSAs need to focus on spatial scales of development to fit within the broader dialogues of equity and rural development across in the countries of Global South. The second and third research questions deal with the experience of different stakeholders with a particular type of HBSA practiced in Nepal, known as local equity sharing (LES). Community leaders’ experiences with and perspectives about local equity sharing (LES) and rural development in Nepal are the theme of the second research question. The results from semi-structured interviews with the chairpersons of the rural municipalities are used to investigate the impact of LES on socio-economic condition of the local community. To my knowledge, it is one of the first studies to review the impacts of LES, which is currently confined to Nepal. The final research question concerns how LES has been evaluated by hydropower developers as they make decisions about domestic capital mobilization within Nepal and mitigating conflicts. The work on these three research questions contributes to expanding our knowledge of hydropower benefit-sharing as it shapes rural development strategies in countries of the Global South.