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:

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.

Participatory Information Systems Appraisal (PISA) represents a shift in the predominant way of thinking about information for economic and social development. Developed in Mongolia over a four-year period by Pact, PISA adapts a well developed family of Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) tools for today’s information-intensive economy, where new Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are increasingly promoted as tools for poverty alleviation and sustainable human development.

The PISA approach systematically introduces and explains the concepts and strategies needed to make well informed,, data-based decisions while empowering key stakeholders in the process. Recognizing the need for rapid information exchange in an information-intensive world, the PISA process establishes a lasting information channel in the heart of the information channel in the heart of the information channel very community a program seeks to support.

This study explores how communities and companies can engage in co-planning and monitoring to ensure sustainable local development benefits from the extraction of resources. Key points are highlighted in six sections, which include: (1) the extractive industries context; (2) the business case and the community case for engagement using participatory planning and monitoring tools; (3) participatory tools within the different stages of extractive project development; (4) potential areas for co-planning and monitoring; (5) key challenges; and (6) conclusions.

A sample of participatory monitoring and evaluation tools and mechanisms include:

  • Participatory planning: Members of local communities contribute to plans for company activities potentially relating to business and to local development.
  • Good Neighbor Agreements are co-produced commitments constructed and agreed between companies and communities.
  • Community Forums: Single or multi-stakeholder community groups gathering voluntarily for discussion on a previously agreed upon topic, to provide information and receive feedback, or for other relationship-building activities that are made explicit. Effective communication strategies are required to ensure balanced participation.
  • Community Suggestion Boxes: Suggestion box placed in an easily accessible public location. Members of a community may submit anonymous complaints, suggestions or questions. Box is opened publicly at pre-determined times (such as weekly) and a response is provided to each suggestion.
  • Participatory Budgeting: Processes by which citizen-delegates decide on or contribute to decisions regarding the allocation and monitoring of expenditures of all or a portion of public resources. Also applicable to company resources allocated for community development.
  • Citizen Report Cards: Short surveys with questions developed through participatory discussion and used to measure perceptions of adequacy and quality of public services. They are also potentially applicable to the extractive industry context. Survey responses are supplemented with a qualitative understanding.
  • Community Scorecards: Focus groups identify indicators of success for a given project or service. Target beneficiaries and service providers rate the effectiveness of service based on the agreed upon indicators.

Underlying each of these tools are supporting processes of training and capacity building, access to information, and mutually agreed-upon metrics for monitoring.


Partnering is easy to talk about but invariably somewhat harder to undertake. It requires courage, patience and determination over time. It is rarely a ‘quick fix’ solution to a problem and can sometimes be a frustrating and disappointing experience – falling short of initial hopes and expectations.

But it does not have to be this way.

There is mounting evidence from many partnership initiatives under development in different parts of the world that such cross-sector collaboration can be highly effective and sustainable when it is designed, developed and managed in a systematic way.

The Partnering Toolbook builds on the experience of those who have been at the forefront of innovative partnerships and offers a concise overview of the essential elements that make for effective partnering.

This film interweaves three stories about companies and communities that have found themselves in varying degrees of conflict and looked for a way out through dialogue. In each instance, the parties to the conflict used a neutral third-party mediator to help them craft a process through which they could address concerns and progressively resolve their core conflicts. Each story is the subject of a self-standing short film: the first, “Making Monkey Business“, involves a hydro-electric power plant and surrounding communities in the Philippines; the second, “Putting Ourselves in Their Shoes“, involves a copper mine and indigenous communities in the Peruvian Andes; and the third, “The Only Government We See” involves an oil and gas company and local communities in the Niger Delta. Each of these films tells of the origins of the conflict, describes how and why both company and communities came to consider mediated dialogue as a way forward, and relates the processes that unfolded, with their progress and setbacks, and the outcomes they achieved. The stories are told uniquely in the voices of those who took part: community members, company representatives, non-governmental organizations and the mediators. This fourth film in the series interweaves all three stories to highlight a range of common themes that emerge, in the hope that they may offer new insights to others who find themselves looking for a way out of company-community conflict.

This is the fourth in a series of four films produced by the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School on behalf of the mandate of the former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Business and Human Rights, Professor John Ruggie. The films were produced with the generous support of the Government of Norway, the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman of the World Bank Group, the International Bar Association and the Government of Germany.

See compilation video and links to individual cases here

Corporate Community Involvement offers the first-ever roadmap to strategic community involvement. Building on their extensive experience, Nick Lakin and Veronica Scheubel have designed this book to be practical—for those who want to act upon what they read.

The book’s advice is backed by inspiring interviews with best-in-class practitioners from businesses like Microsoft, GlaxoSmithKline, Ericsson—as well as leading experts in corporate responsibility and community involvement. The text highlights best-practice approaches, effective methods, and concise tools to help managers “get there faster” and “get it right first time.”

The core of the book is a step-by-step guide that shows readers how to: conduct a current state analysis and devise a strategy; organize staffing and budgets; integrate corporate community involvement throughout the business and create high-profile programs’ partner across sectors; measure and evaluate results; communicate successful activities; and overcome challenges.

Corporate Community Involvement will be an indispensible resource for those working at the interface between business and the community. With this day-to-day reference in hand, practitioners will learn from both successes and failures. Representatives from other sectors, such as government, international agencies, and NGOs, will come to better understand companies’ internal requirements for cross-sector collaborations.



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