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18 Jul 2022

UN Global Compact Network Germany

UN Global Compact Network Germany outlines 5 key insights on making stakeholder engagement in due diligence meaningful

"What makes stakeholder engagement meaningful? 5 insights from practice", July 2022

Engaging stakeholders in a meaningful way is critical for human rights due diligence. In fact, one could go so far as to argue that there is no effective human rights due diligence without meaningful stakeholder engagement. Stakeholder engagement is considered meaningful when it benefits people potentially at risk of negative impacts and when it supports robust due diligence processes within business. Together with understanding and addressing negative impacts, it ensures that affected people remain at the very heart of the due diligence process...

The primary objective of stakeholder engagement in the context of human rights due diligence is to ensure that the measures taken by businesses match the actual risks and needs of individuals or groups whose rights are negatively impacted by their activities. Engagement with (potentially) affected rightsholders is therefore critical. However, engaging with rightsholders in a meaningful way can be particularly challenging for companies. For this reason, the focus of this publication is primarily on engagement with rightsholders, as a subset of stakeholders, or their legitimate representatives where direct engagement is not possible...

[T]his publication seeks to highlight five selected success factors that help make stakeholder engagement meaningful – as a transformative rather than a transactional process of human interaction. The five insights identified suggest that stakeholder engagement is truly meaningful when it is

designed in a way that is

• based on trust

• fit for purpose

• rights-based

informed by a mindset that is

• characterised by co-ownership

• sensitive to context...