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20 Nov 2017

Lukasz Czerwinski, Landesa, Business and Human Rights Journal

Commentary: Effective grievance mechanisms strengthen companies' social license to operate & reduce risks

"A Jedi Approach for Companies to Manage Grievances and Land-Related Risk", 17 Nov 2017

...To mitigate risks and challenges, one of the biggest priorities for any company should be to maintain meaningful relationships with communities...Landesa’s team...[has implemented] a Department for International Development (DFID) funded project called Responsible Investments in Property and Land (RIPL). The purpose of RIPL is to develop step-by-step “how to” guides for companies, government and communities so they are better positioned to comply with international standards for responsible investment...[W]hen companies choose to invest in establishing an effective grievance mechanism, they strengthen their social license to operate within a community and in turn reduce their risks...

[T]here is one key component of social license that is often overlooked by companies; an effective grievance mechanism... To establish a grievance mechanism, we first found that companies should develop and implement an inclusive consultation and engagement plan that facilitates clear, well-planned and frequent communication with communities, including diverse groups within communities, not just dominant voices or traditional leadership... [T]he second step is to work with a cross-section of women and men within the community to design and implement a grievance mechanism...[T]he third step is for a company to have clear, robust monitoring and evaluation procedures...Finally, the entire process needs to include the voice of all land users: men, women, pastoralists and any other groups...