Stakeholder Engagement Plan
Development of the Stakeholder Engagement Plan (SEP) should be based on the project’s Stakeholder Analysis. No one type or format of a stakeholder engagement plan will accommodate all projects. The process of developing the SEP must be inclusive and the draft SEP is designed to accommodate the needs and circumstances of different stakeholders. It identifies the information and types of interaction to be conducted in each phase of the project, and includes any other stakeholder engagement required by the safeguards in the Environmental and Social Safeguards Integrated Policies and Procedures (SIPP).
SEP content will depend on various factors including the nature, scale, location and duration of project, diverse interests of stakeholders, the scale of the project’s potential positive and adverse impacts on people and the environment, and the likelihood of grievances.
It is important to be transparent about uncertainties and knowledge gaps during early stakeholder engagement. Working with a broad range of stakeholders will likely help to define project parameters and fill key knowledge gaps and, if necessary, generate alternative ideas regarding project design and potential risks and mitigation measures, monitoring and grievance mechanisms.
The draft SEP must be made available to stakeholders in formats and through channels that are appropriate to them. As relevant to the project, the draft SEP invites input on aspects such as:
- Whether the list of identified stakeholders is accurate;
- The proposed methods of notification and engagement (for example, where meetings and workshops may be held and how to communicate with disadvantaged and vulnerable groups);
- The proposed extent and format of engagement (for example, meetings and during of the consultation period);
- The format and the language of information to be provided.
Stakeholder views and feedback on these aspects are then reviewed and incorporated in the SEP as appropriate. If significant changes are made to the SEP a revised SEP is publicly disclosed.
As project information changes due to recommendations from assessments and mitigation plans, or as project activities are identified, the Stakeholder Engagement Plan should be reviewed and modified accordingly to ensure its effectiveness in securing meaningful and effective stakeholder participation.
The SEP should anticipate if/when professional, neutral facilitators might be needed to lead key engagement activities. For projects where the stakeholder engagement process is likely to be complex or sensitive, social advisors or other expert staff should help design and facilitate the process and assist with participatory methodologies and other specialized techniques.
The grievance redress mechanism for the project needs to be described in the Stakeholder Engagement Plan.
The SEP should outline a reasonable budget for stakeholder engagement activities, including potential support for groups to facilitate their participation when necessary.
Prior to project concept finalization, a validation workshop should be held with stakeholders that in addition to confirming the project design also includes a review and agreement on the SEP. With the start of project implementation an inception workshop should be held to assist project partners to understand the approved project design and understand their roles and responsibilities in the project. Project Teams should also have an understanding of stakeholder engagement plans during project implementation monitoring including communications, reporting, and conflict resolution and grievance redress.
The SEP Framework is used when the design and location of the project cannot be known during project preparation, or when a project has multiple sub projects that will only be designed during project implementation. In these cases, the Framework sets out the principles to be followed for stakeholder engagement and indicates how people are notified as key information becomes known. The SEP is updated as and when the specific details become known, for example the specific locations, stakeholders and schedule of activities.