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Gaining social licence to operate

Without Social Licence to Operate your project may experience delays, increased costs and damage to reputation, so, how do you gain it? A book could be written to answer that question but instead, look at the following checklist to make sure you are laying a good foundation for social acceptance.

  • Communicating with Stakeholders
    • conduct meaningful, inclusive, ongoing stakeholder engagement;
    • treat communities with respect; understand the local area and culture;
    • fully disclose all relevant information in appropriate formats to local communities;
    • implement an effective grievance mechanism;
    • ensure there are adequate numbers of appropriately qualified and experienced staff who can address queries, concerns and issues
    • act with full transparency and accountability, for example, by encouraging and supporting community-led monitoring and evaluation of potential impacts, mitigation measures, and the adequacy of benefit-sharing programs;
    • ensure there is a valid justification for the project;
  • Managing Impacts
    • observe national, EU and international law and standards;
    • ensure there is an ongoing process for assessing and managing the social, environmental, health and human rights issues;
    • avoid displacing people or affecting their livelihoods
    • be technically competent to be able to ensure safety and to avoid social and environmental harm;
  • Delivering Benefits
    • empower communities by providing training and capacity building;
    • develop a local content plan to deliver benefits;
    • negotiate and implement benefit-sharing arrangements with local communities;

So, have you got a good foundation or not? If not hopefully what you do have are some focus areas to work on. Let’s begin.