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Dispute or Dialogue? Community perspectives on company-led grievance mechanisms

Emma Wilson, Emma Blackmore editors

Issue paper, 166 pages

This book explores the use and impact of company–community grievance mechanisms in the oil and gas, forestry, and mining sectors.

Following the work of the UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights, Professor John Ruggie, there has been a surge of interest in company–community grievance mechanisms as a way to address and resolve human rights issues.

Having identified a lack of material on the community perspectives of company-led grievance mechanisms – their effectiveness and impact on sustainable development and livelihoods locally – IIED sought to address this.

The book provides an overview of recent trends in the design and use of grievance mechanisms and explores drivers for their use. It considers in detail the effectiveness of company-led grievance mechanisms related to the Sakhalin-2 oil and gas project in the Russian Far East; the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline in Azerbaijan; the operations of Congolaise Industrielle des Bois in the Congo Basin; and, in the mining sector, those of Anglo American (global), TVIRD in the Philippines and Kaltim Prima Coal in Indonesia.

The book’s findings demonstrate the importance of having an open and responsive overall approach to stakeholder engagement within which a grievance mechanism can sit. It offers examples of effective approaches for enhancing dialogue – from civil society capacity building to engagement designed around traditional decision-making processes.

The book also offers a number of specific recommendations on how grievance mechanisms can be designed and implemented to better meet the needs of communities and to avoid the risk and costs of community disputes for business. Innovations in implementation range from electronic systems for logging and monitoring grievances, to mechanisms designed to work with and build on indigenous community decision-making structures.

This publication forms part of IIED’s work to identify pathways towards inclusive and responsible mining.

Follow the link to the project information below for more information on Shaping Sustainable Markets.

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Wilson, E. and Blackmore, E. (Eds.)(2013). Dispute or Dialogue? Community perspectives on company-led grievance mechanisms. IIED, London.

Project information

Shaping Sustainable Markets is a research initiative that explores how the formal and informal rules used to govern markets – called market governance mechanisms (MGMs) – are designed, and how they impact on people, the planet and the economy.

More at www.iied.org:
Shaping Sustainable markets

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