Stakeholder and Community Engagement
Companies increasingly recognize that business and reputational risks also originate from poor local stakeholder relations. Maintaining the social license to operate is essential for successful operations.
Central to the success of any organization operating in a complex environment is the early establishment and sustainment of good relationships with the surrounding community and affected stakeholders – the ones that a company impacts and that can impact on a company. Effective community engagement is an essential component of a company’s risk and quality assurance management plan. A loss of community support and trust can degrade a company’s social license to operate, disrupt its service provisions, garner higher operating costs, and result in reputational damage, loss of clients, and legal liability.
Implementing an iterative tailored community engagement methodology is not always easy, but it is essential as perceptions of a company can vary even within a community. We help our clients identify and map stakeholders and develop effective local engagement strategies to work with the key stakeholders who can impact on their ability to operate. We carry out surveys and interviews to track how key stakeholders perceive our client’s operations. We help with the engagement process, from creating space for fruitful dialogues and free, prior, and informed consultation and consent, to mediation and dispute resolution services. Our process begins by working closely and early with our client’s in-country leadership to conduct a local community engagement needs assessment to establish baseline data, specific objectives, and optimal engagement approaches with local stakeholders.