As you develop your programs for stakeholder engagement, delivery of local content and community investment, you must look through a different lens. Major infrastructure projects can have impacts on all the community but they often have disproportionate impacts on certain parts of society. Vulnerable groups need to be identified and then, as a developer, you need to understand if they require additional attention during your engagement and impact management.
- Are there ethnic or cultural groupings that need to be identified? Many people don’t think of this when developing in the west but most European countries have cultural groupings that require special consideration.
- Are there socio-economic groupings that have less access to information sources?
- Have you specifically considered if there are barriers for women, the elderly, the physically challenged in accessing information about your project?
- Are there migrants around your development? Can they read your materials?
As with all engagements, judgements need to be made but a developer who can demonstrate that they have tried to engage with all groups places their prospects of securing a social licence to operate on a more solid footing.