a win-win

How stakeholder management software is helping a multi-billion dollar oil and gas infrastructure project in Vietnam ensure a healthy future for local populations


Making sure negative impacts on the health of local communities is kept to a minimum, displacement, resettlement and livelihood restoration of almost 3,900 households, and implementing strategic social investments

Main issues

  • Poverty – among the poorest areas of the country
  • Low level of education
  • Level of health and healthcare
  • Physical and economic displacement of approximately 3,900 households
  • Transit from rural to semi-urban livelihood (agriculture and fishing vs. industrialization, including the oil refinery)
  • Compliance to lenders requirements
  • Arrival of 25,000+ temporary migrant workers

The Borealis Application’s analytics and report features have been extremely important for our reporting requirements to senior management and lenders. The system as a whole has been the backbone of our social performance institutional memory that allows to show effective compliance with lender performance standard requirements.”

Ben Chapman - Site Manager at Monkey Forest Consulting


Vietnam is currently going through a quick phase of industrialization and there is a growing domestic demand for various petrochemical products, including: LPG, petrol (RON 92, RON 95), jet fuel and diesel. Our client’s project, which is located in northern Vietnam, aims to help make the country self sufficient for upcoming years.

Most households in the area relied on farming and fishing to subsist, therefore transition to a more urban livelihood is monitored to ensure communities are adapting. A main concern is the health of communities close to the project site. In addition to over 30,000 temporary workers coming during the construction phase, traffic accidents were among top risks on the overall health of local communities. Using the Borealis Application and Monkey Forest Consulting services, the social performance team successfully implemented its community engagement strategy while tracking the resettlement of several villages. It was able to build a strong relationship with the communities and maintain social license to operate.

Joint venture

between leading international oil and gas companies

Capacity of

200,000 barrels/day

(10 million tons/year)

Located in

Northern Vietnam

Total investment of

$9 billion USD


The major oil and gas project team hired Monkey Forest Consulting, a firm of social performance specialists to assist its team with the implementation of a community relations strategy. The team uses the Borealis Application as a centralized database of all community engagements, health KPIs, and other key factors. The whole social performance team was trained in using the system and can identify when there are changes in communities.

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  • Successful resettlement of 1,200 remaining households + ongoing livelihood transition of almost 3,900 affected households
  • Strategic social investments aligned with communities’ needs and good social risk management
  • Community development program (CDP)
  • Streamlined day-to-day management of community relations activities
  • Close management of field operations
  • Increased level of awareness about health and safety issues
  • Project has gone through several lenders’ audits with success (Nearly 15 audits + social assessments combined)
  • Efficient complaints and grievances management process
  • Strong engagement with 1,000+ stakeholders on a quarterly basis
  • Local employment and business development

Keeping impacts on communities' health and safety to a minimum

While large infrastructure projects are usually synonymous with great opportunities for economic development, they can also increase various risks on local populations, including health and safety.

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Management thus made sure to proactively manage risks on communities living in the affected district: for instance, the construction phase required hiring some 25,000 migrant workers and employed over 5,000 workers from the district. Managers’ main concern here was the impact of having such an increase in population in this zone on the health of villagers who would be in contact with foreign workers. Would there be an increase in sexually transmitted infections? And what about unwanted pregnancies?

More people also means more traffic. Is the infrastructure safe enough to handle as many vehicles on the road, particularly some 15,000 motorcyclists going to the project site everyday? How many traffic accidents occur now vs. before the arrival of workers? For both health and safety risks, management’s concern was to track specific KPIs in order to identify areas they needed to work harder on to keep communities safe and healthy.

Making social investments that cater to actual community needs.

It can be hard for projects to identify which investments they should make in communities where they operate.

Not all stakeholders want the same thing, and some might have their personal interests more at heart than the community’s. Plus, communities can also make some demands they believe will fulfill a need, when on the contrary, it only makes them dependent on the project for funding. In this particular case, having a social performance team that is made up of a majority of Vietnamese nationals would definitely assist in building a strategic social investment plan.

A special partnership with Monkey Forest Consulting (MFC) MFC provides social management services to the project, including resettlement, stakeholder engagement and strategic social investment, while Boréalis provides the information management system to support these activities on a daily basis.


Managing all the information generated by stakeholder engagement activities and the strategic social investment plan was an undertaking the social performance team didn’t want to go through without the proper tools and guidance.

They thus contacted Borealis for a smart data management system to assist their day-to-day operations and reporting needs, and Monkey Forest Consulting for extra support in implementing their strategy on the ground.With Borealis’ Stakeholder Engagement, Social Investment, Local Employment and Local Business Development modules, information about all engagement activities was well documented and easy to find.

Thanks to the efforts of the project’s community relations team, a standard application that’s been developed over nearly 15 years working in complex social context, and community relations expertise, the project, to this day, has been able to maintain its social license to operate and benefits from the community’s support.

Successful displacement, resettlement, and compensation of almost 3,900 households

Resettlements require tremendous efforts and it can be hard for social performance teams to understand and monitor
how the process affects communities.

Using the Borealis Application enabled the project’s social performance team to clearly identify the impact of compensation and relocation. The system offers a living repository of compensations, making information about who has received what available in just a few clicks. All team members are able to better understand the resettlement and its impact.

Livelihood restoration monitoring against specific KPIs

Although resettlement has been completed, livelihood restoration is still ongoing as you read this. The Borealis Application acts as a management tool to efficiently track all of the project’s strategic social investment programs. The team tracks KPIs like participation (for instance planned vs. actual attendance, and also demographics of attendees) and the impact of strategic social investment projects (they’re having several traffic safety events in communities to help prevent accidents because of increasing traffic caused by the project). The system lets team members make ad-hoc surveys to evaluate living standards against criteria specific to the affected area.

Streamlined day-to-day management of community relations activities

Many social performance teams will tell you the same thing, day-to-day can become chaotic quite quickly when dealing with a lot of stakeholders on a daily basis, especially when your team counts numerous agents. In this particular case, the team engages with 1,000+ stakeholders every quarter. In order to make sure nothing falls through the cracks, close management of field operations is more than a nice to have, it’s a must-have. The Borealis Application provides staff with real-time feedback: instant alerts give users a direct and timely way to manage field operations. All the information entered into the system is far from being static, it evolves over time and as activities do. In addition, to act as a tremendous reporting tool for audits, the system turns inputs into actionable data the team can use to simplify its daily activities.

Strategic social investment programs tailored to the needs of the communities

Consistent monitoring of community health KPIs allows the social performance team to identify trends from the inputs into the system. Social Team Coordinators can then make a spatial analysis of these KPIs and consequently target specific topics and areas for their strategic social investment programs.

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A win-win approach for the project, local providers and job seekers.

Consistent monitoring of community health KPIs allows the social performance team to identify trends from the inputs into the system. Social Team Coordinators can then make a spatial analysis of these KPIs and consequently target specific topics and areas for their strategic social investment programs.

building a win-win scenario
Download the Monkey Forest Case Study in PDF