Social Risk Management


Social Risk Assessment

Social disruptions and community conflict can lead to major project delays and cost overruns. Timely and robust management of your company's social risks will reduce the potential for conflict. The purpose of a social risk assessment (SRA), in contrast to a Social Impact Assessment or economic baseline study, is to identify and analyze the social, economic and cultural conditions that may affect the risk profile of the company’s project –in other words, how local social conditions could affect a project’s ability to achieve social consensus. 

Sample projects include: 

  • Conducted on site social risk assessments at over 20 different mining operations worldwide against corporate guidelines and international social performance standards.

  • Conducted a social risk assessment for an exploration project and helped the company implement the recommendations through a series of participatory workshops with internal and external stakeholders.

Stakeholder Engagement

The most effective Social Risk Management programs engage local, regional and national stakeholders (with a focus on vulnerable stakeholders) in an inclusive, transparent, mutually beneficial and meaningful manner. Avanzar has worked with numerous oil and gas and mining companies to develop effective stakeholder engagement processes, ease tension and conflict between companies and its stakeholders, and build more trusting and transparent relationships between sites and local communities.

Sample projects include:

  • Analyzed social issues at a community level with a view to identifying early on a proactive company strategy in the exploration stage that maximized the company’s contribution to local sustainable development and minimized risk of disruption.

  • Designed a public consultation methodology to involve local stakeholders in the management of community development programs in a large South American country. Trained team in analytical techniques, risk assessment methodologies, field interview techniques, stakeholder analysis, meeting management, consensus building, and conflict prevention and resolution.

  • Designed a best practice manual and train-the-trainers guide on how to build constructive engagements between Indigenous peoples and energy and mining companies. Challenging issues such as ‘free, prior and informed consent’ are given significant treatment in the training. 

  • Designed conflict resolution and negotiation methodology to resolve differences between an extractive company and armed local community members blocking access to the company's concession. Resulted in a draft agreement setting out parameters for responsible company practice in the concession area, including benefits for the local community, while also acknowledging the company's right to carry on business operations. 

  • Carried out a strategic analysis regarding the receptivity of thirty key stakeholders in Ecuador to large-scale mining exploration and operation for a joint venture partner of a global mining company. 

Social Management Systems

The work of community relations and community development teams is highly important, as is the ability to effectively plan activities, and monitor and measure the impacts of their work. The establishment of a robust social management system can help teams to ensure consistent application of company policies and procedures, maintain accurate records, track commitments and improve transparency with stakeholders. Written procedures and guidelines also help to ensure consistency of application when there is staff turnover and can assist team members in carrying out duties that are new to them. Avanzar has helped various companies design and develop robust social management systems to assist their teams on the ground.

Sample projects include:

  • Developed a set of social policies and standards for an international oil and gas company, including detailed implementation guidelines on community development, influx management, stakeholder engagement, security and human rights, local employment, local procurement, and social management plans.

  • Developed a set of policies and procedures to assist an international mining company move towards full compliance with IFC social performance requirements as part of its lender’s requirements.

  • Developed a social management system including a policy, a standard, and a set of procedures on the implementation of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights for an international mining and oil and gas company. The system was developed with regular input and feedback from site-based security management teams. 

  • Designed and reviewed social audit protocols relating to closure, resettlement, stakeholder engagement, sustainable development, engagement of Indigenous Peoples, security, community investment, staff and contractor behavior, management of cultural sites, local employment and business development.

  • Assisted in the design of a Sustainable Closure Plan for a mining company in South America that emphasized the incorporation of local stakeholders into decision-making processes that affected them and in the generation of alternative sustainable solutions. The plan won an international best practice award.

  • Co-design and co-­development ARPEL’s Corporate Social Responsibility Management System Framework and Related Manuals and Tools (e.g. Human Rights, Labour Practices, Stakeholder Engagement, Community Involvement, etc.).

Social Compliance Audit

Whether they be requirements for industry association membership, third party financing, or compliance with voluntary standards, social audits have become a staple in the monitoring component of ESG management systems. Avanzar has developed propriety assessment protocols to audit site conformance with the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and UNICEF’s Child Rights and Security Checklist. Most recently we developed an audit tool to conduct third party assessments against the World Gold Council’s Responsible Gold Mining Principles. Avanzar’s Principals, along with a team of regular subcontractors, are able to cover the broad range of social, health and safety and environmental criteria included in these different sets of principles. Melissa Whellams is an Associate Social Compliance Auditor with the Association of Professional Social Compliance Auditors (APSCA) and Christina Sabater is RAB Accredited ISO 14001 Certified.

Sample projects include:

  • Conducted over 50 assessments against the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights globally.

  • Conducted over a dozen assessments against the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

  • Carried out assessments against the IFC social performance standards at various mine sites as part of a financing due diligence process.

©2006-2020 by