Strategic Social Management

Areas of Study: Environment and Community

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Qualifies for Certification

The development of a resource extraction project instantly changes the environment and social context of the area. Even the smallest group of pre-exploration geologists walking through a community can set off gossip and speculation about potential future economic, political, environmental, social and cultural transformations in a community. The course presents an integrated, risk-based approach for managing social performance.

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Course Summary

Introduction

The development of a resource extraction project instantly changes the environment and social context of the area. Even the smallest group of pre-exploration geologists walking through a community can set off gossip and speculation about potential future economic, political, environmental, social and cultural transformations in a community; construction and operations typically lead to significant long-term change. This is particularly true in remote areas with small, isolated communities, which are often the ones that interact most intimately with resource projects.

A strategic social management system can help a company think about its relationship with communities, the extent of the risks posed to their construction or operations and can help a company to assess and manage the social issues, strategies and benefits that are important to the project stakeholders over time. This course provides an introduction to the key components of successful strategic social management. It draws heavily on more than 20 years of experience by the MFC team designing, implementing and assessing social management systems and social performance on some of the largest and some of the most complex (not always large) mining projects around the globe.

The course outlines the four distinct social management areas and brings them together into an integrated, risk-based approach for managing social performance. Strategic social management requires holistic thinking, collaboration, clear communication, integrated analysis and reporting; however, meaningful results require a detailed understanding of each of the contributing parts.

Course Content

Strategic Social Management is structured with seven course parts and a total of 26 viewing sessions of 30-60 minutes each, plus course reviews. Current course duration is equivalent to approximately 26 hours of viewing content.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss the history of social management systems and the most effective structures and approaches for mine social management.
  • Identify the relationships developed between a project and the affected stakeholders living in the communities and towns closest to a mine.
  • Discuss the sensitive ethical and political issues that companies must navigate as they interact with national, regional and local authorities.
  • Identify the key issues related to workforce and external communications with impacted communities, broader stakeholder audiences, the media and online communities.
  • Recognize how to maximize the value of social investment to the project's business case while supporting appropriate long term community development and relationships
  • Recognize the different approaches to social risk assessment and how to tie risk assessment together with a strategic social management system.

Recommended Background

  • Experience of mineral resource and/or oil and gas operations and their impact on communities in the developing world.
  • An appreciation of the requirements, objectives and expectations of communities in the context of resource project development.

Monkey Forest Consulting

When the world is watching, the costs of errors can be high. Expectations continually evolve and criticism can quickly mobilize around the world; managing social issues requires specialist experience. Monkey Forest Consulting works globally with enterprises to build social acceptance, align company business objectives with community values and to prepare communities for complex change. Monkey Forest Consulting works in three areas to help stakeholders in international projects share a vision for the future:

  • designing and implementing social performance management systems;
  • assessing social performance and systems; and
  • integrating socially responsible security through the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR).