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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 most effective Social Risk Management programs engage local, regional and national stakeholders with a focus on vulnerable stakeholders. The engagement should be inclusive, transparent, mutually beneficial and meaningful.

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.



  •  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. 


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. In addition, we provide culturally appropriate opportunities to address these risks since they are sourced from the community. Avanzar’s highly participatory and rapid appraisal of the operation's social risks allows the company to quickly begin addressing these risks soon after the assessment.


  • 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 stakeholder



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.




  • 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.

  • Conducted a dozen assessments against the UNICEF Child Rights and Security Checklist.

Risk Assesment
Anchor Compliance Audit
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