Mediation and Conflict Management

Mediation and Conflict Management

The tool for delivering these tangible and sustainable benefits to communities is the Community Engagement Standards (CES).

Extractive companies especially, face rising expectations to do more than simply mitigate negative impacts, they are expected to be sources of economic opportunity and to be reliable and trustworthy partners and neighbours. Extractive companies are expected to deliver lasting social and economic benefits to the areas where they have their footprints. The tool for delivering these tangible and sustainable benefits to communities is the Community Engagement Standards (CES).

Over the years, companies have engaged communities and sundry stakeholders, unfortunately with less than inspiring results. The team at CSR-in-Action developed the Community Engagement Standards to ensure smooth and effective interactions between extractive companies and their host communities.

The Community Engagement Standards

At CSR-in-Action, one of our key expertise is community engagement. In 2018, the Community Engagement Standards (CES), a world-class framework was co-developed by CSR-in-Action and indigenous stakeholders from host communities, business, civil society and government at local, state, and federal levels across the nine oil-producing states to guide best practice community engagement for companies and key government agencies. To accomplish this, we conducted research based on the request of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

The research was funded by Facility for Oil Sector Transparency and Reforms (FOSTER), a Department for International Development (DFID) initiative. Our overall research focus was Reducing Loss from Refinery Operations and Oil Theft.

The aim of the CES is to ensure inclusive development and shared prosperity whilst positioning host community members as key actors in decision-making processes.

A key part of the Community Engagement Standards was the development of indicators which would serve as matrix for engagement.

The Community Engagement Standards has since been endorsed by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and its partner agencies, including DPR, NCDMB and NEITI.


Common questions about the CES

  • The Community Engagement Standards (CES) is a revolutionary tool of 44 well-researched indicators, via which extractive industries businesses and government agencies can engage equitably – particularly through inclusive engagement – with resource-rich communities for improved relations leading to sustainable development. CSR-in-Action developed the Standards following visits to communities within nine extractive states and iterative engagement with the tripartite stakeholders at national and sub-national levels.

  • 73% of project delays the world over were due to ‘above ground’ or non-technical risks including community resistance (Michael & Jessica, 2011). What this means is that businesses the world over have yet to determine the best practice approach to dealing with one of their most critical stakeholders, their host communities, also known as ancestral owners of the land.

  • The Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMOU), a style of cluster-community agreement popularised by Chevron Corporation, is only an aspect of community engagement processes. There are affirming activities that ought to happen before, during and after the life cycle of an extractive project that must be carried out. The CES does not invalidate whatever community agreement – GMoU, MoU, Benefit Impact Agreement, etc – your institution may already have in place.

  • The CES is an amalgamation of all the different legal guidance and recommendations of local and international entities. It is addressed from an independent third-party lens and covers macro-economic issues, including governance, women and youth equity, environmental management and technology.

  • The CES is the first ever fully-documented life-cycle process flow for community engagement based on empirical research specific to African oil and gas and mining communities.

  • Governments and businesses which deal in mineral and oil and gas resources will directly benefit from applying the principles of the CES to their community engagement process. To request a copy of the CES, get support, or speak to a resource person, please click here

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