MacCormick’s mandate was to develop a tool its mining client could use throughout the life cycle of their mine to manage inevitable grievances but also to guide the response process to mitigate any risks associated with the potential for disruption.


Grievance management mechanisms for community complaints are part of a series of processes that aim to prevent, mitigate, or resolve tensions and conflicts between companies and local communities. They constitute an integral part of the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) approach requiring community engagement on the part of their clients under their Policy on Social and Environmental Sustainability.

Complaints can involve a wide spectrum of subjects, questions, or issues and represent both minor preoccupations and much more serious conflicts that involve acts of violence. They can be expressed, for example, in the form of legal claims or protests and be individual or collective.


MacCormick developed a custom policy and process for it’s mining client to manage both expected and unexpected grievances. The package complete with unique tool design included forms, records registry, level of risk coding for management incident reporting, engagement strategies for each type of response and protocols for execution. Data collected in these records were dual purpose for informing the risk registry as well.


Both the corporate management team and field teams were trained on this management system and it was implemented across departments. Training included mock situations and retroactive process applications to previous event and situations.


MacCormick was engaged for 6 months in 2013-2014 on this project as a part of a larger mandate with this client.


MacCormick’s corporate team worked with its in-country consultants and the client’s CR team to develop this project.


MacCormick’s work provided the client with a simple yet comprehensive management system for addressing grievances and a mechanism for generating proactive responses.