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Food security, energy concerns and the potential impacts of climate change (including floods and droughts) have brought dams back to the forefront of the development agenda. This report reviews the experience with displacement of affected people in West Africa over the last 40 years and examines mechanisms for distributing the benefits of dams more equitably and ensuring that affected people are better off. Making affected people one direct beneficiary of dam projects promotes public acceptance, reduces risks to developers and reduces the risk of long term conflicts between those displaced and the villages that host them.