20 years working with communities undergoing complex social change on four continents, and nine years as a social assessor of extractive and agroforestry projects. Has helped dozens of extractive companies manage company/community dynamics and build strong relationships with their communities.
Combines line management experience on billion-dollar mega projects with multinational director-level experience; guides investors and managers through international social performance standards.
Projects in both Congos, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Guinea, Ethiopia, Mauritania, Turkey, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, South Africa, Madagascar, Peru, Chile, Panama, Guatemala, Bolivia, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Canada, the United States, Sweden and New Caledonia.
Experience resolving community-project conflict prompted his involvement in groundbreaking UN Global Compact work on conflict and revenue transparency.
Social performance management involves the relationships between a company and the various communities in which it operates – the people outside the gates.
In a global economy, it is crucial that those relationships are based on trust and understanding, to avoid conflicts that can become serious enough to delay or derail multibillion-dollar projects.
Social performance is not philanthropy. It is not corporate social responsibility (CSR) or corporate image management. It is based instead on a deep risk assessment that allows companies to manage their projects in terms of their social impacts, such as working conditions, community health and safety, and the treatment of indigenous people.
The issues are particularly important for extractive industries, such as mining and forestry. But social performance applies to all companies that work globally. Two developments over the past 10 to 15 years have driven the evolution of social performance management:
The growing role of banks and international finance organizations, which have added social performance standards to loan requirements because they recognize the risks of social conflict to the projects they fund.
The increasing ability of local communities to influence a company's decisions and operations. They can go to shareholders or activist groups, for example.
Key elements of effective social performance management include:
Conducting a rigorous field assessment to understand the real issues for the community and potential risks to the project.
Developing strategies to mitigate those risks and reduce conflicts at the outset.
Establishing a transparent and open grievance resolution system to identify and manage problems before they turn into serious conflicts.
Social performance management is all about how a company communicates with and interacts with local communities, and then being willing to change what they do. Change your behavior, and you will change the outcome.