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Public Engagement Self Assessment tool
Published:29 Jun 2011
Project proponents can use this simple reference table to see at a glance the outputs recommended to identify, manage and mitigate stakeholder engagement risks to a high standard, and follow the links to find out more about key steps.
What is its purpose?
Managing non-technical risks can have a range of ‘grey’ areas, which can mean it is hard to track progress quantitatively. The tool offers an entry point into quantitative self-assessment and reporting.
Given the variety of projects and their community contexts, the tool does not explore particular stakeholder concerns, but instead outlines the elements of a high quality strategy.
Of course, a quality public engagement strategy does not mean there will be no community concerns, or guarantee that the project will go ahead. Rather, quality indicates the establishment of healthy relationships between proponents and key influencers, as well as effective processes, dialogues and systems to identify and mitigate emerging risks, and capitalise on opportunities.
The Institute’s public engagement working group led by Claude Mandil recommended the development of an understanding of best practice in public engagement to begin assessing project performance more accurately, and helping develop greater capability around public engagement approaches.
In late 2010, the WRI published a report called Guidelines for Community Engagement in Carbon Dioxide Capture, Transport, and Storage Projects. This report was designed to provide guidance to project developers, regulators, and local communities as they engage in discussions regarding potential CCS projects. Each set of advice was developed around five key principles of best practice stakeholder engagement. These include:
- Understand local community context.
- Exchange information about the project.
- Identify appropriate level of engagement.
- Discuss risks and benefits of project.
- Continue engagement through time.
The group of over 80 contributors to the guidelines had experience studying and practising community engagement for CCS projects in different countries and provided a range of perspectives. It included academics, project developers, governance experts, representatives from utility and fossil energy companies, public servants involved in both policymaking and regulation, community representatives, scientists, and non-governmental organisation (NGO) representatives.
The Institute regards the WRI best practice guidelines consultation process as thorough, and built upon the agreed five principles to provide further guidance to project proponents by describing the outputs against each principle needed at each of the five phases of project development.