This is how we put Integrated Social Performance into action. Find out more about our experiences with companies and what we can do.
We facilitate strategy and visioning sessions with Corporate Social Performance or Corporate Leadership Teams.
We also are regularly requested to present on international best practice in the industry and to provide a forward-looking perspective on emerging issues to senior management.
TRA members have been asked to sit on external social performance oversight panels for projects. On some occasions these concern project-wide oversight whereas other times we are asked to review particular aspects of a project such as influx management, resettlement and grievance mechanisms.
TRA has conducted numerous benchmarking and effectiveness reviews. One large-scale company-wide social performance benchmarking exercise involved visits to 20+ corporate sites across 15 different countries. Recommendations were then presented to the company’s Executive Committee.
We also completed a desktop effectiveness review of a company’s grievance mechanisms and conducted multiple site visits to abstract lessons learned for the company’s global operations.
Our approach is geared towards site-based community engagement and consultation, particularly in frontier markets or in the context of company-community tension. In our work we ensure that engagement is strategic and inclusive, uses various venues and engagement models, and is skilfully prepared, implemented, documented and analysed. We develop and implement community engagement strategies, draft guidance, provide tools and templates related to the various aspects of engagement, and train company staff on the use of tools and techniques such as stakeholder analysis and social risk assessment.
We also develop engagement skills training for community liaison officers and coaching programs for frontline staff. We provide both on-site as well as remote support for companies that use web-based stakeholder engagement database programs.
TRA also has developed joint-fact finding mechanisms for companies and their stakeholders.
TRA has developed operational community feedback and grievance mechanisms for over a dozen companies, both for on-shore and off-shore operations. These mechanisms are context specific, fit for purpose and compliant with international best practice. In addition to developing operational grievance mechanisms, we have helped corporate offices to roll out grievance mechanisms company-wide and have conducted internal benchmarking exercises for companies to improve the effectiveness of their grievance mechanisms.
TRA was involved in the co-facilitation of grievance pilot programs both for the ICMM and IPIECA and co-authored the IPIECA Manual on Community Grievance Mechanisms in the Oil and Gas Industry. We also conduct internal benchmarking exercises for companies to improve the effectiveness of their grievance mechanism.
TRA has developed an FPIC assessment tool that we use to verify levels of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent against (emerging and evolving) international expectations.
To us free prior and informed consent should be the norm for any company-community relationship and it should not pertain to specific groups only. We have supported agreement-making efforts and developed engagement strategies for companies to be able to demonstrate FPIC.
TRA has worked extensively on the practical aspects of influx management. We have found that influx can be minimized, and its consequences mitigated, by thinking about influx early on, during the pre-feasibility phase. TRA has conducted influx assessments during the pre-feasibility phase which subsequently were built into influx management strategies that became de facto contractor management tools. We also conduct training and have developed influx management toolkits to enable companies to assess influx potential and the most appropriate prevention and mitigation options.
TRA was founded on the social performance assessments that TRA members conducted across dozens of sites. We occasionally combine these assessments with conflict impact assessments looking in particular at company-community conflict. We also have conducted human rights impact assessments, often as part of a broader conflict impact assessment.
Although TRA has conducted a number of Human Rights Impact Assessments (HRIA), we typically do this as part of a broader conflict impact assessment. As the HRIA field is becoming increasingly specialized, we partner with Lloyd Lipsett for specific and technical HRIA. Lloyd has conducted multiple high-profile HRIA and is an authority in this field.
TRA has managed and supported elements of land acquisition, resettlement, and cultural heritage programs during our on-site assignments. We have drafted multiple standard operating procedures (SOPs) on various aspects of land access and land/crop compensation. As well, TRA staff have planned for and overseen land acquisition activities.
On resettlement, TRA team members have managed the development of resettlement action plans, managed compensation negotiation processes, and developed livelihood replacement programs and complaint mechanisms. Our involvement in cultural heritage management primarily has been focused on building engagement strategies around cultural heritage issues of concern and the development of SOPs such as chance find procedures.
Local employment and procurement are amongst the biggest contributions a company can make to local communities, but they also can be the biggest lightning rod for conflict when not well-handled. We have a local employment expert on our team and have supported Human Resources and Procurement/Supply Chain departments in their local content efforts by conducting gap analyses and developing procedures and action plans. We do so based on engagement with local stakeholders to verify that they consider the approach taken to be fair and transparent.
The IFC Financial Valuation Tool has been designed to assess return on social investment based on a standard discounted cash flow methodology using the different scenarios and investment options and scenarios available to a company. The tool provides a rigorous approach towards value creation and value protection and can provide a shared language across departments to discuss social investment decisions.
Triple R Alliance facilitates the implementation of this tool for companies that are not IFC clients.
TRA works to build organizational capacity; we do not believe in training for the sake of training. “Off the shelf” trainings are great for providing general information but seldom provide staff the time and ability to apply their new learning to the challenges that they experience on a day-to-day basis. Our trainings focus on the knowledge and information needed, and provide multiple opportunities for staff to practically apply what they learn to their everyday challenges.
The following are examples of trainings that are part of our core areas of expertise:
In addition to more formalized training, most of our knowledge transfer activities are through coaching of frontline staff and supervisors. We have worked with companies to visit operations periodically to develop and implement social performance systems, track progress and increase the skills base of their teams. TRA also has developed a curriculum for frontline staff regarding the knowledge, skills and behaviour they need to have acquired to do their job effectively. Where we have a long-term presence, we typically apply this curriculum over a period of 12-15 months.
Positioning social performance as a shared and cross-functional responsibility requires a different organizational approach than when responsibility is delegated to one designated department. The manner in which the department positions itself internally often determines if social performance remains an outside the fence exercise or, alternatively, is seen as a critical factor to achieving business objectives.
As part of our capacity building work with companies, we focus on the strengthening the ability of social performance teams to work internally with other departments and we frequently train and raise the awareness of other internal departments on integrated social performance.
TRA was founded on the social performance assessments that TRA members conducted across dozens of sites. TRA has conducted social performance assessments and effectiveness reviews. We also regularly conduct site visits to monitor progress and capture lessons learned. TRA also works with companies to develop key performance indicators and create tools to guide KPI development.
If outcomes and impacts cannot be measured, company management will be less interested in understanding them. As part of any efforts, impacts need to be measured and provided to decision makers in clear reporting mechanisms such as dashboards or visual communication boards.
As part of our on-site and remote support training and capacity building work, we have supported the roll-out and use of stakeholder engagement database programs to enable better measurement and reporting. TRA also works with companies to develop key performance indicators and we have created tools to guide KPI development.
TRA has developed Joint Fact Finding programs around a number of issues (dust levels, water sampling, etc.) with the objective of establishing trust around issues of mutual interests. We have also conducted evaluations of such JFF efforts and have seen JFF programs dramatically increase the quality of company-community relations.
One of the entry points for decision making is social risk analysis. TRA supports local staff in the facilitation of such an exercise – which should have cross-functional participation and subsequently assist in the development of mitigation action plans.
A critical ‘trust breaker’ is not following through on promises that have been made. In addition to providing training modules on expectation management, TRA also helps develop commitment management protocols and supports database management on this issue.
TRA has developed procedures, guidelines, templates, and tools on virtually all aspects of social performance from engagement preparation checklists to social closure guidance. Tools should be practical and clearly linked to the day-to-day reality of their users. Our library has over 50 toolbox topics and our handouts and tools have been developed and tested in the field.