I first heard the words “meeting under the mango tree” as a euphemism for having a predictable, easy to access process for enabling community members to raise issues and concerns in a safe and familiar place.  There is no fixed agenda and no one-size-fits-all for these exchanges. With one company we set up drop-in centres in each local village with a designated community officer in attendance everyday. Another made it known that a company person would be available “under the mango tree” for two hours every market day. I am hoping this blog will achieve something similar – the regular, free and open sharing of ideas and experiences. Time will tell how well it works out.

The importance of keeping an open-mind

Mining Insights |  22 April 2021

A few years ago I reviewed a community-company grievance mechanism. The client didn’t have the best of reputations and I had some seriously negative preconceptions when I agreed to take on the work. I have to say, I was wrong.  I found the teams on site were doing a much better job than I expected with a significant and multifaceted effort being put into grievance prevention…

Linking company actions to the Health SDGs

Community Health |  8 April 2021

Companies, Communities and the Sustainable Development Goals

Last year I wrote about how smaller companies can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals by staying focussed on the intersection of company, community and global priorities – the sweet spot. This year, I’d like to see what these sweet spots look like, starting with SDG3 which aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

Mining and Project Induced In-Migration

Mining Insights |  25 March 2021

What is Project Induced In-migration?

Project Induced In-migration (PIIM) is the movement of people into an area in anticipation of, or in response to, opportunities associated with the development and/or operation of a new project and is an inevitable consequence of project development. Exploration and development activities may directly induce in-migration or may be a catalyst for the broader economic development of the region that leads to in-migration. Either way, companies can contribute to a reduction of in-migration and prevent and/or mitigate the impacts. In-migration affects individuals, households and communities, traditional authorities and local government. Women, children, the elderly, and minorities – are particularly vulnerable to disruptive change. Unlike some other company related impacts, addressing PIIM is often not well understood so here are a few ideas you might want to consider...


A Community Relationships Primer for Exploration Companies

Mining Insights |  11 March 2021

Why Building Strong Relationships Matters.

Going into a new area to explore and ultimately build and operate a mine you start with high and positive expectations that you can work constructively with the local communities. Then it goes off the rails. Most often, with good intentions and a focus on an immediate issue, individuals in the company or in the community will take actions or make decisions (or fail to take actions or make decisions) that over time, cumulatively and progressively add up to major problems and consequences that are for the most part predictable – difficulties, costly delays and if it really goes badly, loss of the project. The good news is that 10 simple actions you can take will give you far more control than you might think...

Trending in 2021

Responsible Business Management |  25 February 2021

I thought I'd make a start compiling a list of predictions of the direction of ESG in the year ahead. I'll try and get some balance into the list by finding some government, international development and civil society / NGO viewpoints to those of business. The list isn't ranked - it is not about who is better at prediction or which I think are more important, rather, the place on the list will simply reflect the history of discovery. The fact that the first three are from business probably is an indicator of my industry background / bias...

Evolution of a management system

Responsible Business Management |  11 February 2021

Management systems supporting the pursuit of excellence and continuous improvement are found in all other aspects of business - technical, financial, administration and health and safety and environmental performance - so why not community relations and social performance? Why not indeed…