MacCormick’s mandate was to identify persons and communities of interest and assess the level of threat or support for the mine project development.
A keen understanding of the social and political context has been proven critical to the success of development projects, especially those that are potentially controversial, and involve environmental concerns, regional politics and border issues. The fact that a national government desires a particular reform program is only the first step in determining whether such a program is feasible. Opposition to reform can come from various stakeholders with vested interest in the status quo or who mistrust the proposed reforms for various reasons, including fear of change, lack of information or misinformation about the goals of the reforms. The roster of failed, donor-supported reform programs exhibits a common theme of a lack of understanding of the social, political and economic forces that could potentially derail reforms.
MacCormick mapped both the traditional and formal structures of society with relevance or influence to the mine project. A custom designed risk matrix generated from the collection of raw data was used to determine the levels of threat or support for the project utilizing both formal and informal approaches.
MacCormick conducted hundreds of consultations in combination with a desktop review of multiple sources of socio-demographic content for the region. The content was supplied by both host and foreign government entities, international and grass roots NGOS and local associations.
MacCormick was engaged from 2011-2012 on this assignment.
MacCormick partnered with local consultants and was instrumental in the formation, training and development of the client’s in-country CR team to assist in the execution of the project.
MacCormick’s assessment resulted in the identification of immediate threats to the client’s project and suggested engagement strategies to mitigate these threats. A community committee was formalized with equal societal representation (men, women, children, elderly, disabled etc.) for informed decision making re mine development and the impacts of the mine development.