Why we work on Inclusive Dialogue with Business

Economic development can be a key driver of prosperity and peace in fragile regions. It has the potential to provide populations with jobs, services, infrastructure and opportunities.

However, economic activity in these fragile contexts may lead to conflict between business and community and exacerbate social tensions.

Inclusive Dialogue with Business creates opportunities for local communities, government authorities and business stakeholders to engage with one another, to address issues of common concern and build trust. Dialogue enables stakeholders to express their expectations, develop a better understanding of each other and come to joint agreements.

How we work with Inclusive Dialogue with Business

We offer dialogue support to affected communities and civil society organisations, companies and local governments. We provide support based on the requests of multiple stakeholders, ideally including a local convenor of the dialogue. By strengthening the quality of the dialogue process and the capacity of participants involved, we create the conditions for them to co-develop sustainable solutions. However, success will always depend on a strong commitment to solving the issue by participants.

In this area we support our partners through:

  • Facilitation, mediation and process design advice
  • Dialogue preparation, negotiation and consensus building support for dialogue participants
  • Joint fact-finding research as part of a dispute resolution process
  • Accompaniment of dialogue participants during implementation of reached agreement
  • Advice to national or international business-community dialogue support initiatives
  • Collection and analysis of case studies / learnings from past dialogues

We believe that for a dialogue to be effective, it should be:

  • Well-prepared, structured and safe – with participants understanding and agreeing on the purpose, process and ways of participation
  • Inclusive – with all affected stakeholders represented and heard
  • Well informed – with all participants having access to reliable information
  • Facilitated – by individuals or organisations accepted by all participants and able to ensure that the process and rules are respected
  • Responsible – with participants engaging in good faith and honouring agreements

Our commitment to serve all actors equally in a dialogue makes us well positioned to offer this service.

Results of Inclusive Dialogue with Business

We currently support various business-community dialogues in all our focus regions. Partners value our independence and expertise in facilitation and mediation. We track various indicators to determine the effectiveness of our support, including:

  • Stakeholders actively and sincerely engage in the process
  • Stakeholders indicate that they feel respected by other participants and develop the level of mutual trust required for a constructive dialogue
  • Agreements are reached, implemented and sustainable
  • Conveners and participants have developed their capacities and have built relationships of trust

Learn more about our support for Inclusive Dialogue with Business

Companies, affected communities, local governments and dialogue conveners based in our four focus regions seeking impartial dialogue support to address or prevent conflict are invited to contact Johannes Schreuder.

We run a Call for Proposals (next open in early 2020), targeted specifically at civil society organisations engaged in business-community dialogues in our four focus regions.