ADDRESSING GRIEVANCES FROM PROJECT-AFFECTED COMMUNITIES
Addressing Grievances romProject-Aected Communities
The concepts of social risk management and social license to operate havebecome an integral part of doing business in emerging markets. Thesedimensions of a company’s social and environmental strategy can be achievedwith effective stakeholder engagement, based on active participation ofand feedback from groups affected by the company’s operations. Amechanism to address affected communities’ concerns and complaints—a grievance mechanism
—is an important pillar of the stakeholder engagementprocess, since it creates opportunities for companies and communities toidentify problems and discover solutions together.
Moreover, it is now cear that credibe and eective grievance mechanisms are part o a broaderramework or businesses to address human rights issues in their operations. As such, companiesshoud integrate specic principes deveoped b the Specia Representative o the UN Secretar-Genera on Business and Human Rights: egitimac, accessibiit, predictabiit, equitabiit,transparenc, and compatibiit with internationa recognized human rights standards.Companies across sectors and through a stages o project deveopment can benet romunderstanding communit concerns and compaints and addressing them. This Good PracticeNote provides guidance on basic principes and process steps that organizations shoud takeinto account when creating and impementing grievance mechanisms. Together, these principesand steps constitute a baseine set o considerations and good strategies or designing andimpementing procedures appropriate to the project scae and impact. This Note is not intendedas a detaied guide or arge and compex projects.
Instead, it ocuses on heping companiescreate a oundation or successu resoution o concerns and compaints. It does so throughexampes rom private sector projects o IFC cients ranging rom oi, gas, and mining projectsto manuacturing companies.
This Note does not discuss various interna grievance procedures intended or empoees orcommercia disputes invoving contractors, suppiers, customers or consumers. The Note ocuseson grievance management at the eve o private sector projects and companies and is not intendedto cover aspects o government-, industr-, or internationa-eve grievance mechanisms. Suchmechanisms—together with the orma justice sstem and other independent dispute resoutionand accountabiit bodies—are part o a broader accountabiit ramework or the private sector,and serve as drivers or companies to engage more eective with communities to preemptescaation o grievances and disputes. Thus, a compan’s accountabiit to its stakehodersencompasses more than a project-eve grievance mechanism, which is on one o the toos thatcompanies can use to respond to the need or greater accountabiit, without undermining orimiting communities’ rights to use aternative avenues or recourse.