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Stakeholder engagement is the process by which we actively reach out to people who may have an interest in the development of the Mozambique LNG Project.

Stakeholder engagement plan

The project’s stakeholder engagement activities are guided by the stakeholder engagement plan (SEP). The SEP describes the project context, identifies project stakeholders, defines our approach to stakeholder engagement, and describes the operational framework, methods, and resources to deliver the plan. The SEP is designed to meet the requirements of Mozambican legislation and relevant international standards.

The purpose of the SEP is to develop and maintain constructive relationships with key project stakeholders. Accordingly, the SEP activities focus on:

  1. Promoting awareness, understanding, and recognition of stakeholder positions and interests
  2. Facilitating relational, operational, and programmatic engagement with project stakeholders
  3. Supporting the project’s environmental and social management plans and establishing a foundation for on-going relations during the operations phase
  4. Ensuring the availability of and effectiveness of a community grievance mechanism

The plan’s scope

The SEP focuses on community stakeholders within the project’s area of influence which includes the Afungi Peninsula, the Palma and Olumbi Administrative Posts, and more generally, the Palma District. The SEP recognizes three broad groups of community stakeholders: (1) resettlement-affected communities, (2) directly affected communities, and (3) indirectly affected communities.

The key elements of the SEP are:

  • Planning and content development 
  • Community-led stakeholder engagement
  • A community grievance mechanism

Planning and content development

To support community stakeholder engagement, we created a planning and content development (PCD) function. The roles and responsibilities of the PCD function include:

  • Developing a three-month project activity look-ahead on a rolling basis to ensure visibility of activities and to inform stakeholder engagement planning and activities
  • Identifying and promoting multiple means of engagement, including developing the community stakeholder engagement team, IEC materials, community radio, and theatre productions.
  • Developing Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials about all project activity—including construction, environmental, and social management plans — to support all engagement activities.
  • Establishing and maintaining community notice boards and nkutano (community meeting spaces)

Community stakeholder engagement

The community stakeholder engagement team is made up of community liaison officers (CLOs) and community facilitators. The CLOs are assigned to specified communities as the key engagement conduit for village leaders, faith-based leaders, households and individual men, women and youth who make up each community. The team is responsible for the following engagement types:

  • Relational engagement—Focusing on establishing and maintaining relationships with community individuals and groups
  • Operational engagement—Focusing on ensuring awareness and understanding of the operational aspects of project construction, including facilitating local workforce recruitment
  • Programmatic engagement—Supporting engagement in all environmental and social programs

Community grievance mechanism

We recognize the importance of maintaining an accessible, legitimate, fair, transparent, and culturally appropriate grievance mechanism to receive, assess, respond to, and resolve grievances. That’s why we have established a community grievance mechanism (CGM) within our Stakeholder Engagement Plan to manage project-related complaints and grievances.

The CGM describes the process through which individuals, groups and organisations can raise concerns, issues and grievances and how matters raised will be investigated and collaboratively resolved.

The grievance management process consists of 5 steps, each sequentially following the former. The 5 steps are summarized below, starting with receiving a complaint and concluding with the final step, which is verifying that the complainant is satisfied with the outcome of the process. The process flowchart provides an overview of the sequential steps followed.

  1. Receiving, registering and acknowledging receipt of a complaint;
  2. Investigating and verifying the complaint and if warranted, collaboratively determining resolution options;
  3. Agreeing resolution actions with the complainant;
  4. Implementing the agreed remedial action;
  5. Verifying the outcome with the complainant.

How does the project ensure stakeholders are aware of the community grievance mechanism?

The mechanism and avenues for registering a complaint are widely publicized in the Project Area of Operation as part of our ongoing formal and informal stakeholder engagement activities. Information, education and communication (IEC) materials that explain how the mechanism works and how communities can access it are displayed on notice boards in village nkutano (meeting spaces) and public places including the Palma Information Centre, communicated verbally at community and public meetings, aired on Palma Community Radio and is made accessible on the Project website. Specific information is also incorporated in all compensation and resettlement agreements.

Read more about the engaging ways and IEC materials used by the project’s Community and Social Affairs team to create awareness of the CGM among communities.

How may communities register a complaint?

Complaints may be registered in person or through a trusted representative. Complaints may be submitted verbally (face-to-face, by phone) or in writing (letter, SMS/ WhatsApp, E-mail) through any of the following channels:

  • Community Liaison Officers (CLO), who maintains a presence in communities on an ongoing basis
  • Any Project representative, contractor or subcontractor with whom communities may come in contact
  • Community Facilitators (CF), residents and thus individuals who are known in their communities and maintain a permanent presence
  • Community Leaders
  • Community Resettlement Committee (CRC) members that also serves as the community grievance management groups
  • District Resettlement Committee (DRC)
  • Delivered to Project offices (Maputo, Pemba, Afungi)
  • Project Information Office in Palma Sede
  • Project green line, which is a telephone line that is operated free of charge

Complaints can also be delivered verbally or in writing in village nkutano, which serves as the meeting place with the project in communities.

To accommodate religious and cultural customs and preferences, female CLOs are available and trained to receive grievances in confidence from female complainants.

How much does it cost for a grievance to be resolved?

The community grievance mechanism is operated free of charge. No-one registering a complaint will pay for the complaint to be investigated and followed through to resolution. The phone line is toll-free and costs are incurred by TEPMA1.

How does the use of the community grievance mechanism align with existing community structures?

The Community Resettlement Committees (CRCs) that have been established also serve as community grievance management groups. They have received training to independently receive, record and address complaints and to distinguish complaints and issues to be passed to the project for resolution.

How does the project ensure stakeholders who are not literate can access and use the grievance mechanism?

Many members of host and affected communities are not able to read or write, and we therefore pay particular attention to having face-to-face dialogue and direct interaction with complainants, conversing in the appropriate local language. These measures enable processes, investigations, decisions and outcomes that are clear and understood by community members. Literacy is not a requirement to access and use the community grievance mechanism.

In addition, Community Facilitators often participate in discussions to ensure that complaints are understood and recorded accurately.

How long does it take to address a grievance?

The project will acknowledge receipt within 3 days of receiving a complaint, and endeavour to implement remedial action, when appropriate, within 30 days of the complaint being received.

May stakeholders appeal if they are not satisfied with the outcome of a grievance?

For complex matters, or where the parties are otherwise unable to agree on an acceptable resolution, the project and the complainant may mutually agree to further negotiation facilitated by a neutral third party.

How does the project ensure confidentiality of grievances?

The project seeks each complainant’s consent to use information provided for the purposes of processing a grievance. All grievance records and communication with complainants are received and treated in confidence and accessible only to individuals with a legitimate need to know.

Does the project maintain an official, auditable trail of all grievances received?

All grievances are registered and their resolution tracked in a grievance database. Each complaint is assigned a unique complaint number which is used throughout the process. All information, findings and engagements related to all grievances are captured in this database.

Does the project publicize reports on its grievance performance and are these reports made available to communities?

Regular reports are prepared to provide an overview of grievance performance against key performance indicators (KPIs). The environmental performance reports that are submitted to the Government of Mozambique every six months contain a section describing community grievances. Similarly, the Environmental and Social Performance Reports that are prepared for project lenders contain information on the performance of the grievance mechanism.

During quarterly update meetings with civil society organisations in Maputo and Pemba, the Project presents a summary of community grievances.

At Palma and Afungi level, communities, including leaders and community structures, and civil society are updated on a monthly basis on the grievance mechanism and the resolution of complaints. During the updates, information such as the type of grievances, noticeable trends if any, and issues are discussed. This regular update allows for discussion and exchange, keeping in mind due respect for confidentiality. Individual complainants are kept up to date on progress with the resolution of their complaints on an ongoing basis.

 

Engaging with civil society organizations

To complement the community-focused SEP, we have also developed a Civil Society Organization/Non-Government Organization Engagement Plan. The CSO/NGO Engagement Plan addresses CSO/NGO engagement at the national, provincial and district levels. At the national and provincial levels CSO/NGO engagement occurs on a one-on-one basis as well as through periodic update meetings. In Palma, the project seeks to have monthly meetings with the Palma Civil Society Platform. These engagements reflect the importance of CSOs/NGOs as project stakeholders and our commitment to transparent, regular engagement the throughout project construction phase.

Independent CSO/NGO monitoring platform

The Mozambique LNG Project has supported the Civil Society Support Mechanism Foundation (MASC), a Mozambican CSO, to establish the Independent Civil Society Monitoring Platform (ICSMP) to monitor the project’s environmental and social performance. The goal of the ICSMP is to improve engagement awareness, understanding, participation, and, most importantly, bring a Mozambican perspective to the project’s environmental and social performance.

Working with civil society, MASC helped establish the ICSMP by partnering with national, provincial and district CSOs. In 2019, we supported MASC by providing project orientation and training for the ICSMP. This year, the ICSMP starts biannual monitoring activities.