SLP Skills

The SLP helps businesses to find services in the following areas:

Community Capacity Building

Building the capacity of individuals – both women and men – and communities to hear and react to information; provide feedback on preferences, consent, impacts, objections, and expectations; generally engage in two-way dialogue; and enter into negotiations and resulting agreements. Capacity building in these topics, as well as other related areas may be required at the outset of any investment in land or other natural resources. Only with a certain level of capacity can individuals and communities be expected to grant and sustain a social license to operate.

Environmental Impact Assessment and Mitigation

Identifying, avoiding, reducing, and compensating for the environmental impacts of an investment process is a vital element of earning and maintaining social license to operate. Identifying and assessing impacts – to women, men, and communities – is a critical first step. Developing alternative approaches that permit impact avoidance and mitigation is also central to impact management. Any impact assessment and management process must recognize that women usually perceive and are affected by impacts differently than men.

Establishing Grievance Mechanisms

Designing and implementing a functioning, effective, equitable, transparent, and accessible project-specific grievance mechanism for handling and resolving disputes is central to responsible investment and maintaining social license to operate.

Gender Impact Evaluation/Gender Analysis

Impacts to women (and other marginalized groups, such as youth) can only be identified in most cases when focused upon with targeted emphasis and dedicated resources and expertise. Thorough assessment, identification, evaluation, analysis, and management of impacts ensures that women’s land and natural resource uses are seen and equitably acknowledged during an investment process. Specialized expertise is almost always required to perform these tasks.

Land Valuation, Surveying, Mapping, and Entitlement

Identifying uses, resolving conflicting claims, establishing and demarcating boundaries, and formalizing rights to land and other natural resources may be required prior to the transfer of land rights or to change of land use. These activities, done in a participatory, inclusive, and transparent way, can help businesses earn local trust and can create needed certainty and an enabling environment for successful, responsible investments.

Legal and Institutional Due Diligence and Risk Analysis/Policy Analysis

Helping businesses to understand the legal, regulatory, and administrative operating environments, social contexts, and other governance and compliance situations. Such analysis can help equip businesses to operate in conformance with governance and social frameworks and avoid sanctions, disputes, delays, fines, penalties, and other barriers to smooth and responsible investment processes. This also calls for the identification of risks to acceptable and functional social engagement, particularly with those vulnerable to exclusion such as women, youth, migrants, and ethnic minorities.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Collecting, analyzing, and reporting data on performance and impact reduces risk while providing clear targets for improvement. Additionally, good monitoring and reporting is required to ensure and demonstrate compliance with the terms and conditions of agreements between businesses and individuals/communities, with business policy and performance commitments, and with commodity and production process certification standards. The groups and methods used to conduct and communicate these processes, along with the content and accessibility of the outputs, are integral to the local perceptions and acceptance that can create and sustain social license to operate.

Negotiations and Agreements

Agreements with individuals (both women and men) and communities must be negotiated in a way that provides for a level playing field, the full and transparent exchange of information, an explanation of the benefits and costs that can accrue when land use is changed or land rights are transferred to others, and informed consent prior to the agreement coming into force. Sometimes agreements that affect land rights are made between businesses and government, which then requires separate agreements between the business (and sometimes the government) and the land users or rights holders. Negotiating and creating these agreements requires specialized knowledge, communications skills, and drafting capabilities.

Outgrower Support and Engagement

Change of land use that calls for land users and rights holders to change the way they use and benefit from their land creates impacts that affects women, men, and communities. These changes must be facilitated through engagement, consultation, and supporting measures that explain the scope and impact of the changes and provide the means for successful and rewarding livelihoods transitions and restoration. The support must be tailored to the new land use and sustained during its life.

Social Impact Assessment and Mitigation

Identifying, avoiding, reducing, and compensating for the social impacts of an investment process is a vital element of earning and maintaining social license to operate. Identifying and assessing impacts – to women, men, and communities – is a critical first step. Developing alternative approaches that permit impact avoidance and mitigation is also central to impact management. Any impact assessment and management process must recognize that women usually perceive and are affected by impacts differently than men.

Stakeholder Mapping and Stakeholder / Community Consultation

Identifying all affected parties and supporting a transparent exchange of information between the business and these parties, paying particular attention to reaching out and hearing from social groups vulnerable to exclusion. Businesses can use these processes to establish and maintain effective and robust dialogue with local people and groups, which is essential to establishing and maintaining a social license to operate.

Other

The SLP will also facilitate services that are related to social engagement and responsible environmental practices that do not fall neatly in the above categories. Please contact the SLP Support Team with an explanation of your project needs.

The SLP will expand this list of services in response to demand and feedback. Please contact us if you have any feedback or questions.