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By on July 11, 2012 - CSR Blog

Managing stakeholders is an essential part of sustainable development, which is one of the foundations of our mission. It actively contributes to the success of an extractive project, in particular by directly managing impacts on the community. When managed effectively, relationships among stakeholders (individuals and/or households, organizations, governments) play a key role in the successful completion of a project, which is why we need to develop this area and create stakeholder management tools adapted to client needs.

Social Acceptability

A social information management system is not only crucial to the development of field work; it is also the very basis of a project’s social acceptability. The assessment and processing of collected data, and establishing relationships among parties, contribute decisively to the development of a project, helping to avoid conflicts and mitigating negative environmental, social and economic impacts.

Accordingly, involvement of stakeholders presents a number of advantages.  First, it enables improved decision-making and management of corporate commitments. In addition, it allows for a better understanding of the influence of different stakeholders on the project and each other, while presenting an overview of the acceptability of the project for outside parties.

However, due to the many interaction possibilities, we will have to create a system that can register the data so it can be more easily processed. The goal is to offer a solution tailored to the client’s needs as quickly as possible.

Working towards stakeholder mapping

One of the key issues observed was the need to develop a system that can ascertain multiple approaches and establish a good management strategy based on identified needs.   The transition from a reactive approach to a proactive organization is the key foundation of stakeholder mapping.

Stakeholder mapping is used to measure the influence of members of a community on a given project, and thus enables the conceptualization of social dynamics by assessing relationships between parties and their impact on a specific aspect of a project. The quality and effectiveness of the analysis depend directly on the person performing said analysis, who must have in-depth knowledge of the involved parties. When knowledge of involved parties is weak or inaccurate, the results of the analysis will be less relevant.

With a view to illustrate collected data and facilitate their analysis, stakeholder management specialists can perform manual stakeholder mapping in a specific manner as part of an intuitive process. Once it has been projected, it can be simplified so that conflicts and their impact on stakeholders can be categorized, for example. A targeted intervention can then solve a problem that has led to numerous complaints.  It will also be possible to track changes in a person’s position over time.

About François Robichaud
François counts 10 years’ experience implementing complex social and environmental solutions on large international infrastructure projects. He joined Boréalis in 2009, where he’s successfully contributed to projects around the world. François has extensive experience in stakeholder engagement, social investment, grievance management, resettlement and livelihood restoration, surveying and biodiversity. Outside his work, François is passionate about volcanoes, seismology and you might even catch him bungee jumping on some weekends.

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