Since 2003, our group has carried out assignments and field work in multiple countries across the Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Central Asia and the Caucasus. To read more about our work across Africa and Asia, visit:
The problem Our client faced violent opposition to access a water treatment plant in a Marsh Arab community in Iraq. Opposition was also rooted in community marginalisation, suspicion of the client and regional government, and a legacy of unfulfilled promises of development projects in the past. Violence included stone throwing at vehicles and the occasional use of firearms.
What we did We worked closely with the client team to understand drivers of conflict, advise on situation management, and review company efforts to engage with the community to date. We then facilitated and helped the client team develop a strategy to arrive at a social license to operate for the company. We trained company staff in intervention design and dispute resolution skills and accompanied strategy implementation over six months. Our advice also covered engagement with key Iraqi stakeholders and liaison with security providers, and work with local NGOs to design conflict-sensitive local development projects.
The OutcomeThe client secured access and the community license to operate the water treatment plant.
Company-wide human rights due diligence
Location Global, with field visits to South Africa
Client Multi-national mining company
What we did Adopting a rights holder-centric and risk-based approach to the process, we prepared a baseline (legal and policy, peer UNGPs implementation, and emerging societal expectations) and human rights risk scale to assess the adequacy of framework implementation. This was followed by a comprehensive group-wide ESG policy architecture review to ensure coherent human rights mainstreaming across the company and selected business units. We then undertook deep-dives into selected value chain, functional areas, and sites to understand follow-through and application of the human rights framework.
The Outcome We delivered a final report and action plan for the client, and facilitated a workshop for their human rights working group where the plan was developed and adopted
Evaluation of the Crisis Response and Preparedness Component of the European Union’s Instrument for Stability (IfS)
LocationGlobal, with field visits to Georgia, Sudan, Somalia and Indonesia.
Client European Commission
ContextA global fund of EUR2.2 billion, the Instrument for Stability (IfS) was created in 2006 to enhance the EU’s capacity and tools to undertake urgent short-term crisis response measures and medium- to longer-term actions covering crisis preparedness and trans-regional threats and CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons) non-proliferation.
What we didWe undertook a review of the crisis response and preparedness component of the IfS. As a programme-level review, we covered the whole IfS portfolio of actions related to crisis response and preparedness, assessed available analyses and fiches techniques, and the strategies of the European Commission/EEAS in relation to target countries. The team carried out country-level visits to Georgia, Sudan, Somalia and Indonesia, which involved ‘deep dives’ into actions and impacts. Extensive consultations and interviews were done in Brussels and in-country, and remote surveys were used to capture views of recipient organisations, beneficiary governments, and other stakeholders.
Final output The final report is available online.
Advice on alternative dispute resolution and re-entry into hostile area
ClientInternational infrastructure company
The problemA client dispute with a community meant that access to a 10-km stretch of land was blocked. A development finance institution required them to use ADR expertise to address the dispute.
What we did We deployed two members of our Mediation Support Team to support the client over a 12-month period. The team helped the client:
• Formulate a re-entry strategy premised on dispute resolution.
• Help select, coach, train, and accompany the client’s dispute resolution team.
• Develop and accompany the implementation of a multi-track dispute resolution plan, which worked towards a range of outcomes.
• Prepare top-management engagement at key junctures in the dispute resolution process.
• Brief and advise lenders on progress with the dispute resolution process.
• Work with the security team to apply a de-escalation principle and VPSHR compliance during re-entry.
The outcomeThe assignment concluded with peaceful re-entry into the site and completion, with minimal obstruction, of works.