Due Diligence

due diligence

Researchers at the EU’s Joint Research Center used the Social Hotspot Database together with EU trade statistics, to look at comprehensive supply chain risks for the EU-27 countries.

The methods described and applied in the study can be applied equally by companies to discover and understand the social risks and opportunities in their own supply chains.

The report concludes
“Our analysis underscores the importance of a life cycle-based approach to understanding and managing social risk in support of policies for socially sustainable development. Moreover, the methods and information presented herein offer a potentially powerful decision-support tool for policy makers wishing to better understand the magnitude and distribution of social risk associated with EU production and consumption patterns, the mitigation of which will contribute to socially sustainable development within Europe and abroad.”

See summary and slideshare here

In their new book The Social Entrepreneur’s Playbook: Pressure Test, Plan, Launch and Scale Your Social Enterprise, Wharton professor Ian C. MacMillan and Dr. James Thompson, director of the Wharton Social Entrepreneurship Program, provide a tough-love approach that significantly increases the likelihood of a successful social enterprise launch in the face of the high-uncertainty conditions typically encountered by social entrepreneurs. Visit the website here.

Mapping Twitter Topic Networks: From Polarized Crowds to Community Clusters


Summary of Findings

Polarized Crowds: Political conversations on Twitter

Conversations on Twitter create networks with identifiable contours as people reply to and mention one another in their tweets. These conversational structures differ, depending on the subject and the people driving the conversation. Six structures are regularly observed: divided, unified, fragmented, clustered, and inward and outward hub and spoke structures. These are created as individuals choose whom to reply to or mention in their Twitter messages and the structures tell a story about the nature of the conversation.

Access Pew Report page here

Where it all began

Darzin Software was set up in 2004 by Allison Hendricks. Through her twenty odd years of experience working in the stakeholder engagement field, Allison came to realise the need for simple yet effective consultation management software. Efficient tools to manage the volumes of data generated through stakeholder engagement programs were sorely needed. Tools of the day (spreadsheets and basic databases) treated the data in very simplistic ways and did nothing to extract any real knowledge from the data. Two key things were missing:

  • The ability to efficiently manage the large volumes of data stakeholder engagement programs can generate
  • The ability to effectively communicate the results of the stakeholder engagement process to the decision makers – turning largely qualitative data into easily understood information

Our vision

Our vision for Darzin is for informed decisions, leading to better outcomes for our communities through dramatic improvements in data management.

Darzin was created with three main objectives in mind:

  1. Make the process of data management and distribution more efficient
  2. Extract knowledge from qualitative data
  3. Present information in formats easily understood by decision makers.

You will see these objectives reflected in the design of Darzin. Our focus is on streamlining and automating the data collection process where ever possible. We spend a lot of time ensuring the user interface is intuitive and friendly, constantly working towards making Darzin easier and faster to use. Our qualitative analysis tool still remains a key distinguishing factor for Darzin, no other software yet has anything that comes even close to it. Our focus on extracting knowledge from data means that Darzin has over 50 standard reports, including maps, charts, lists and tables.

Our team

  • Experts in the community engagement field, particularly in relation to evaluation, consultation data management, stakeholder engagement process design (including deliberative processes).
  • User-friendly consultation management software developers

What we do

Although our “main job” is to design innovative stakeholder management software we are not just a bunch of IT geeks, we take responsibility to make sure our software delivers required outcomes. You can have confidence that you are dealing with a team that understands your needs and is on top of and leading the industry in innovative stakeholder engagement and community consultation practice. We work with you to help you design your project (if you need this help) and identify solutions.

  • Assist you with designing new processes/projects, fixing up existing data, training, coaching, designing for effectiveness and evaluation
  • Design leading industry community and stakeholder engagement approaches into a software solution

Our customers

Today Darzin is in its fourth version and is used by a wide and diverse range of clients. Our clients come from many sectors – government; infrastructure; mining; construction; water, gas and electricity utilities; consulting; waste management; etc. The common element they all share is that they all interact with the public and stakeholders, and all need ways to efficiently manage stakeholder relationships and community engagement processes.


The Praxis Group™ specializes in public and stakeholder consultation, survey and market research, socio-economic impact assessment, and strategic advisory consulting. Our clients draw from the public, private and non-profit sectors. Over the course of nearly thirty years, our projects have ranged from one-day workshops to multi-year, regional, national, and international assignments.

At Praxis, we believe it is essential to involve people and organizations in the decisions that affect them. Thus, one of our primary goals is to improve the quality of decision-making for our clients. We believe that better decisions create more effective and efficient organizations and improve the quality of life for individuals and communities.

We believe that each client’s needs are unique and require individualized solutions that will be practical, effective and sustainable. As such, we custom design decision-making processes, draw together experienced project teams, and use innovative tools and techniques for obtaining, recording and analyzing data. Through this approach we are able to generate accurate actionable information for each client.

Stakeholder Tracking System©

Praxis developed the Stakeholder Tracking System© (STS) as a consultation tool to assist clients with information management for projects and activities involving interactions with stakeholders and business contacts. Offering flexibility, accessibility, scalability, and security the STS provides a solution for managing large volumes of data while maintaining data accuracy and integrity.

Flexibility: Its modular structure provides ultimate flexibility allowing Praxis to tailor the STS to the immediate needs of the client and to modify system features as the client’s needs change. The STS can also assist clients with capturing stakeholder information required for regulatory processes.

Accessibility: The STS is a web-based system accessible from any broadband internet connection. Based on open standards, it is compatible with most operating systems and web browsers. This means that both staff in the home office and those in the field can access and use the STS at any time from any place. The portal is password protected to ensure data security and to comply with both federal and provincial privacy of information legislation.

Scalability: The STS consists of multiple modules, which can be turned on and off depending on the client’s needs. Even features within modules can be turned on or off depending on the complexity of tasks and processes of any given project. The STS can easily be customized to support projects of any size. To date, the STS has been used for projects ranging from 400 to 40,000 stakeholders in a variety of consultation processes.

Security: To ensure physical data security, the STS is hosted on Praxis’ remote servers located within the Q9 Networks data centre in Calgary. Q9 Networks is a leading Canadian outsourced data infrastructure provider offering state-of-the-art data security and guaranteed 100 percent power supply and accessibility (www.q9networks.com). All remote access to the STS System is secured using 256 bit strong SSL encryption (Secure Sockets Layer).

Core STS modules:

  • Stakeholder Tracking
  • Document Respository
  • Calendar
  • Discussion Forums
  • Photo/Image Gallery

Other main features and sub-modules:

  • Integrated Mapping
  • SPIN II Land Data Importing
  • Importing and Exporting of Contact Data
  • Surveys, Questionnaires and Comment Sheets
  • Emergency Response Planning

To learn more about the many features STS offers, see our STS Brochure.  If you would like to arrange a personal demonstration or have questions regarding our customized STS packages, ranging from $249.00 to $1,999.99/month, please contact us at [email protected].

The Stakeholder Circle ® is designed to enhance the management of a business unit, organizational activity, or project’s stakeholder community to the benefit of the stakeholders and the activity. It is a proven methodologysupported by robust, easy to use tools.

In five easy steps Stakeholder Circle helps you to:

  1. Identify your activity’s stakeholders and understand their needs
  2. Prioritize the stakeholders
  3. Map their profile
  4. Develop an engagement strategy
  5. Monitor changes over time as you update and review the SH community at major change points in the activity

What is Stakeholder Circle

To see how effective this stakeholder management methodology is, you can log into a free version of the Stakeholder Circle database for a 30 day trial, or preview the simpler template, or Excel spreadsheet. The tools are pre-loaded with sample data from the ‘Paradise Utility Corporation‘ (download the PDF case study). The trial database includes a project file populated with sample data and one clean file for you to create your own project data.


How does it work?

To assist in developing an effective stakeholder mapping and management system for your organization, we have developed an integrated range of products and services. Our overall system includes:

Positive engagement with host communities can’t rely on good intentions alone. To make sure a company’s presence accords with your neighbours’ own aspirations and best interests, you need an effective process to help create and implement your sustainable development policies. Anglo American’s Socio-Economic Assessment Toolbox (SEAT) does just that.

Core Objectives of SEAT
  • Provide guidance and support for achieving full compliance with the Social Way – Anglo American’s framework of requirements for social performance management during project development, operation and closure.
  • Identify key social and economic impacts and issues that need to be managed and, thereby, improve risk management.
  • Assess existing social performance initiatives, such as community development projects, and identify where improvements are required.
  • Facilitate the capture and sharing of best practice across Anglo American.
  • Improve each operation’s understanding of the full range of local stakeholders, their views and interests; provide guidance in developing and updating annual Stakeholder Engagement Plans (SEPs), and increase trust and goodwill among host communities.
  • Support sustainable socio-economic development in host communities and ensure that we respect human rights.
Key steps in SEAT

SEAT helps managers analyse their operation’s sphere of influence and impacts, and provides a framework for formulating management responses and reporting back to stakeholders.

The SEAT process is divided into seven steps, with each step supported by a number of tools.

  • Profile the Anglo American operation and the host community
  • Engage with stakeholders
  • Assess and prioritise impacts and issues
  • Improve social performance management – how we interact with our stakeholders
  • Deliver enhanced socio-economic benefits to host communities
  • Develop a social management plan
  • Prepare a SEAT report and feedback to stakeholders

Each of our operations runs a new SEAT assessment every three years.

SEAT plays a central role in our programmes to meet the requirements of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) sustainability principle 9 (i.e. to contribute to the social, economic and institutional development of the communities in which the Company operates).

All senior and site-based personnel who are responsible for community relations are trained in the use of the SEAT process.

Access v3 directly here

The focus of this handbook is on stakeholder groups “external” to the core operation of the business, such as affected communities, local government authorities, non-governmental and other civil society organizations, local institutions and other interested or affected parties. We have not addressed engagement with suppliers, contractors, distributors, or customers, because interaction with these parties is a core business function for most companies and subject to national regulations and/or established corporate policies and procedures.

The handbook is divided into two parts. Part One contains the key concepts and principles of stakeholder engagement, the practices that are known to work, and the tools to support the delivery of effective stakeholder engagement. Part Two shows how these principles, practices, and tools fit with the different phases of the project cycle, from initial concept, through construction and operations, to divestment and/or decommissioning. Each of these phases presents different environmental and social risks and opportunities for the project and, as such, different practices in stakeholder engagement need to be employed and integrated into management systems at each stage.

IFC Environment and Social Development Good Practice Documents can be found here:http://www.ifc.org/ifcext/enviro.nsf/Content/Publications_GoodPractice

The Handbook and its sister document, the “Guide to Practitioners’ Perspectives on Stakeholder Engagement”, together provide guidance to especially corporate, but also non-corporate users on how to practice effective stakeholder engagement. The Guide illuminates various groups’ perspectives on engagement, and provides an in-depth examination of stakeholder engagement processes, their opportunities and challenges.

The Manual as a whole is intended to provide practical guidance and support to those practicing stakeholder engagement. The Handbook outlines a comprehensive approach to successful and strategically aligned engagement, and includes a broad range of practical tools and templates. The Guide illuminates various groups’ perspectives on engagement, and provides an in-depth examination of stakeholder engagement processes, their opportunities and challenges. Both documents are based on extensive research, workshops, consultation and on interviews with a total of almost one hundred engagement practitioners from around the world.
18 blank templates on Stakeholder Engagement found in the Guide are also available for download and dissemination. These are:
  • Mapping Stakeholders
  • Strategic Engagement Objectives
  • Objective Issue and Stakeholder Matrix
  • Stakeholder Influence Dependency Matrix
  • Organisational Response-Ability
  • Stakeholder Profile
  • Resources and Margins of Movement
  • Stakeholder Representatives and Stakeholder-Specific Objectives
  • Systems Strengthening Plan
  • Staff Development
  • Stakeholder Engagement Plan
  • The Engagement Outcome Implementation Plan
  • Engagement Review

The Manual and Templates can be downloaded separately from the AccountAbility website.