Yes, we've done this beforeWe've been helping clients engage with communities for more than two decades
MFC’s team has been helping clients engage with communities for more than two decades. We are social performance specialists who understand the overlapping needs of:
- projects that are managing operational risk,
- funders ensuring that international performance standards are met, and
- communities balancing expectations for growth with preservation of traditional lands and cultures.
We meet this challenge by designing, implementing and assessing social performance programs that
- earn social acceptance
- conform with international standards, and
- support access to funding.
We work extensively with enterprises that use or develop natural resources – mining, oil and gas, forestry, agriculture, property development or infrastructure. Our clients include company senior executives and their social management teams, investors, funders and industry associations.
Responsible – Neither our programs nor our assessments shall cause harm to communities or clients
Pragmatic – Social performance management works best when it is integrated into your schedule and management
Innovative – International standards are a foundation to build on but are still evolving. So is our practice
Responsive – Dialogue and relationship-building begin with seeing things from the perspective of other peoples
Respectful – Trust must be earned and maintained through honest, thorough and ongoing communication.
- know that conforming with international standards brings access to funding
- know that communities struggle with large-scale, complex change and that helping them manage their part in that change creates a sustainable result
- need expertise and implementation support so they can run their own systems
- integrate social issues into the core business to improve performance while reducing costs, and
- recognize the importance of innovation because saying, “That won’t work here!” is often the same thinking that creates problems.
We believe relationships with communities must be:
– Free and fair – Communities need accurate and freely available information
– Culturally, linguistically and educationally appropriate – Communities should guide cultural, linguistic and other skills needed to engage with them
– Rooted in trust and respect – Building trust is rooted in respect shown through ongoing interactions
– Empowering – Involving communities in decision-making increases their ownership of decisions that affect them and builds their capacity to manage change
– Consistent and thorough – Distrust is hard to reverse and even supportive groups will not remain so if they feel uninformed, ignored or mistreated
– Strategic – Building acceptance means identifying key stakeholders and investing in sustainable relationships
– Inclusive – Stakeholders drive the level of engagement they need and ignoring groups now makes it difficult to earn trust later
– Collaborative – Projects can lever positive social and economic change. Involving communities in making decisions about their future helps them realize benefits that outweigh impacts
– Proactive – Creating accurate perceptions keeps misconceptions from developing
– Forward-looking – Preparing a community for each stage of a project through education, livelihood programs, and health and safety improvements helps create a vibrant post-closure community
– Documented – Documentation is critical when legal, regulatory or other challenges arise. Easy-to-use documentation systems, implemented early and updated as appropriate, help make sure data will be there when it is needed
– Transparent – Communicating freely and accurately helps demonstrate you are acting responsibly
– Global – Standards are based on emerging international practices and continue to evolve. Knowing and applying them enhances your reputation internationally and supports access to funding.