Gold mine site in Tanzania, Anton Ivanov

 Services


 

Our mission is to help clients operate and achieve impactful results ethically and sustainably in areas affected by transition, fragility, and violent conflict. We do this by offering services in the following areas: 

VPSHR and security management
We advise companies on the implementation of the Voluntary Principles for Security and Human Rights (VPSHR) and security management that is compliant with International Finance Corporation Performance Standards.
Human Rights compliance
Our human rights compliance practice help clients ensure their implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) is fit-for-purpose and aligned to good practice. Going beyond gap analyses, we cover a company’s broader ESG policy framework, human rights risk footprint, and the implementation of specific requirements in exposed value chain and functional areas.
Field research and investigations
Our strong field networks and research/investigations capabilities enable us to handle sensitive investigatory assignments. We implement security risk assessments, human rights investigations, risk identification and due diligence, and carry out commodity tracing.
Supply chain assessments
Increasing scrutiny of company supply chains, particularly on issues of corruption, poor labour practices, indirect terrorist finance, and human rights violations, is commonplace – and a necessary part of the drive towards fair, clean and safe certification. Our supply chain services help clients carry out supply chain due diligence, trace commodities, and apply good practice controls of their supplier universes.
Program design and Monitoring & Evaluation
We help our clients integrate approaches that build the resilience of fragile countries and communities into their humanitarian, development assistance, and social investment packages and operations. We add value through our deep expertise in a host of development sectors – from health and education to agriculture, water, and energy – and cross-cutting areas, especially climate change, governance, and gender.

VPSHR & Security Management


 

Practice Lead

Emmanuelle Diehl

The Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR) are critical for companies to manage the potential human rights impacts of their security arrangements on communities. We help companies develop VPSHR action plans that are well-crafted and executable, enabling them to better operate in unstable and violence-affected areas.

 

In addition, our security management advisory supports clients to comply with the requirements of the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Performance Standard 4: Community Health, Safety, and Security. Current IFC guidance goes beyond the VPSHR and calls for companies to also manage the security impacts on communities affected by their operations.

  • Site-specific VPSHR security risk assessments and action plans
  • Due diligence on public/private security providers
  • Training for public and private security personnel on the VPSHR and VPSHR-compliant use of force
  • Company-wide VPSHR reviews and audits
  • Elaboration of VPSHR aligned policies, procedures, and interfaces, including MOUs with security forces
  • Strategic-level reviews of security management frameworks for VPSHR alignment and broader compliance to company human rights commitments

  • IFC compliant security risk assessments and security management plans
  • Identification and adjustment of community security/security management deficits
  • Development of community security strategies
  • Establishing operational interfaces between security management and community relations
  • Design of security grievance handling systems

Human Rights Compliance


 

Practice Lead

Elodie Grant Goodey

The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) require companies to respect human rights in their operations. The UNGPs are increasingly codified into norms, policy and law at domestic, regional, and international levels. Company implementation of the UNGPs is fast becoming a requirement of investors and international financial institutions for project finance.

 

Our human rights compliance reviews help clients understand whether their implementation of the UNGPs is fit-for-purpose and aligned to good practice. We go beyond gap analyses to define a client’s human rights footprint, look at human rights within the broader Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policy framework, and ‘deep-dive’ into specific requirements in exposed value chain and functional areas. Beyond these reviews, we also carry out site-level Human Rights Impact Assessments (HRIA), investigations and checks, human rights training and capacity-building, and the design and review of grievance-mechanisms.

 

Our experts who do this work possess extensive corporate sector experience, which enables us to effectively support the implementation of our recommendations with advisory, tools development, training, and other follow-on actions in those areas where we have competence (security, supply chains, dispute resolution, etc.).

Field Research and Investigations


 

Practice Lead

Currun Singh

We have a 15-year track-record in carrying out complex field research and investigations in high-risk environments. Past assignments have included mapping out illegal crude oil bunkering operations in the Niger Delta, assessing the infiltration of gold mines in East Africa by criminal syndicates, and documenting Taliban and ISIS control of mine sites in Afghanistan. We retain a zero-accident and incident track-record.

Oil theft operations in the Niger Delta, David Nyheim

Our client briefs are highly varied and often connected to other services: in the past we have been requested to undertake forensic-level research or discreet pieces of work in order to inform client due diligence or risk assessment efforts, for example. Our reports are precise and succinct, and we often integrate audio-visual and GIS-based resources into how we present findings.

 

The thoroughness with which we prepare is core to us maintaining a zero-accident and incident track-record. As with all our work, for field research and investigations we draw on our field and technical networks to understand the environments in which we will operate, carefully select and train our field researchers, and incorporate Do No Harm principles into all planning and research/investigation processes. We also apply strict health, safety, and security protocols, which help protect our teams, information, and client interests.

Supply Chain Management


 

Practice Lead

Amol Navangul

The most challenging supply chains to investigate and commodities to trace are those that involve sourcing from transition, fragile and conflict-affected areas. We help our clients carry out supply chain due diligence, trace commodities and associated risks, and strengthen supply chain controls. We apply a Do No Harm approach to all our work, which helps protect key stakeholders and client relationships.

 

Our skills and corporate experience enable us to help companies put effective supply chain controls in place. In order to do this, we typically map out the ESG policy architecture, review existing controls and non-technical quality assurance/labelling systems of procurement and supply chain management, identify gaps in alignment with good practice, and then help put solid controls in place .

 

With companies under greater scrutiny from media and activist groups, we also use our specialised knowledge of international human rights, international social standards, environmental impact assessment, and public affairs to offer strategic communications support and advice to our clients on how to best engage with key stakeholders.

  • Reviews of supplier compliance (ESG controls, legal compliance, environmental stewardship, etc.)
  • Assessments of site and transit conditions (human rights, labour, corruption, etc.)
  • Investigations of specific allegations associated to a supplier or product
  • Preparation of a supplier controls action plan
  • Coaching and tracking of supplier controls action plan implementation

  • High-level profiling of commodities non-technical risk
  • Rapid field research to ascertain commodity risk profile (‘red flags’ identification)
  • Site-specific spot checks and audits
  • Investigations of specific allegations associated to commodities from specific areas

  • Development of supplier standards and procedures
  • Mapping and risk prioritization of supply chains
  • Preparation of supply chain audit schedules and documentation
  • Development of new supplier qualification and selection processes
  • Alignment of ESG standards to supply chain controls

Program Design and Monitoring & Evaluation


 

Practice Lead

Gudrun Van Pottelbergh

Image of donket
Donkey, Leonid Kruglov

Our experts know a thing or two about the post-2015 development agenda – after all, they helped come up with it. From the development goals of the last millennium to envisioning the goals for this one, our teams enable clients to better deliver on their humanitarian, developmental and social investment commitments.

 

We have extensive experience designing humanitarian, developmental, and social investment programmes for our clients. Rooted in the decades that our experts have spent doing this work in transition, fragile, and conflict-affected countries, we possess a clear sense of what works and what type of programmes will deliver specific outcomes.

 

Critical to our work in this field is Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) during or after programme/project implementation. We design monitoring systems and conduct evaluations that ascertain impact and help adjust intervention logics. Our M&E assignment work ranges from strategic level reviews of large investment portfolios to specific projects and programmes.

Case Studies

Case Studies

Case Studies

Setting up an IFC Security Management System

Setting up an IFC Security Management System

Setting up an IFC Security Management System

 

Location: Nigeria

 

Client: Multinational energy company

 

The Problem: The client needed to put an IFC compliant security management system in place with a view to securing lender finance for their proposed solar power plant, to be built in an insecure area affected by the Boko Haram insurgency. The capacity of the Nigerian security forces to provide security to the standards required in IFC guidance and in accordance with the VPSHR was variable. Active community vigilante groups in the area were armed and untrained.

 

What we did:

• We carried out a combined IFC compliant risk assessment and a capacity needs assessment of public and private security forces, including community vigilante groups.

 

• We engaged with public security forces and community vigilante groups to define appropriate interfaces and standard operating procedures. We aligned security requirements with an approach to address security risks, security relations and social investment functions. In addition we engaged with public security forces and political authorities to define the level of security to be provided by the Nigerian security forces and the approach.

 

• We reviewed security engineering for the solar panel plant in light of risks, capacities, and needs, and drew up a security management plan that provided estimates of security costs required and where savings could be made.

 

• We defined practicable solutions to challenges associated with engaging with public security forces in the area regarding alignment to company business ethics and standards .

 

The outcome: The foundations were put in place for the client to qualify for lender finance from a security point of view.

Mapping infiltration by criminal syndicates into a mine

Mapping infiltration by criminal syndicates into a mine

Mapping infiltration by criminal syndicates into a mine

 
Location: Tanzania
 
Client: Multinational mining company
 
The Problem: The client was experiencing a number of problems at the site, including theft and other loses, and community unrest connected to artisanal and small scale mining. The client was aware of criminal infiltration of the mine site but had not mapped the extent of lead infiltration or the quantity of losses they were experiencing.
 
What we did:
• We conducted a rapid, discreet and conflict sensitive field investigation process, whereby we engaged with key stakeholder groups and began mapping elicit economies connected to the mine. This enabled us to start building a picture of the total size of theft and losses that the company was experiencing.

 

• From there we built a picture of the capability required to execute and manage that type and level of criminal activity.

 

• We undertook deep dives into specific operations in order to understand the different levels of infiltration for the different kinds of theft.

 

• We were able to pull together a complete map of the areas and size of theft and loss, the processes of stealing, the capability required to steal specific assets at specific quantities, and therefore the level of infiltration required to execute the theft. In addition we drew-up a picture of the presumed command and control structure required to manage the theft operation.

 

• In addition, we conducted an investigation into artisanal and small scale mining, community dependency on it, and community-syndicate patronage relationships.

 

The outcome: We provided the client with a clear picture of criminal infiltration of the mine site executed with zero incidents and accidents.

Subnational stabilisation plan for the Government

Subnational stabilisation plan for the Government

Subnational stabilisation plan for the Government

 
Location: Confidential
 
Client: A sitting president and a western government
 
The Problem: An ongoing criminalised insurgency was underway in part of the country, for which there had been multiple failed attempts to address. The incoming  president instigated the design of a stabilisation strategy and program for the region that would enable him to align key government institutions and external partners.

 

What we did:
• We convened the closest advisors of the President in this region over a three month period in order to co-design a stabilisation strategy.

 

• We evidenced the discussions and dialogue that took place with research on key topics, including security sector reform, regional development plans, dispute resolution for inter- and intra-community conflict, disarmament, demobilisation and integration efforts.

 

• We consulted key parties to the insurgency.

 

• We designed a strategy and a supporting programme for the President.

 

The outcome: A subnational stabilisation programme for a sitting president was realised.

Case Studies


Setting up an IFC Security Management System

 

Location: Nigeria

 

Client: Multinational energy company

 

The Problem: The client needed to put an IFC compliant security management system in place with a view to securing lender finance for their proposed solar power plant, to be built in an insecure area affected by the Boko Haram insurgency. The capacity of the Nigerian security forces to provide security to the standards required in IFC guidance and in accordance with the VPSHR was variable. Active community vigilante groups in the area were armed and untrained.

 

What we did:

• We carried out a combined IFC compliant risk assessment and a capacity needs assessment of public and private security forces, including community vigilante groups.

 

• We engaged with public security forces and community vigilante groups to define appropriate interfaces and standard operating procedures. We aligned security requirements with an approach to address security risks, security relations and social investment functions. In addition we engaged with public security forces and political authorities to define the level of security to be provided by the Nigerian security forces and the approach.

 

• We reviewed security engineering for the solar panel plant in light of risks, capacities, and needs, and drew up a security management plan that provided estimates of security costs required and where savings could be made.

 

• We defined practicable solutions to challenges associated with engaging with public security forces in the area regarding alignment to company business ethics and standards .

 

The outcome: The foundations were put in place for the client to qualify for lender finance from a security point of view.

 


 

Mapping infiltration by criminal syndicates into a mine

 
Location: Tanzania
 
Client: Multinational mining company
 
The Problem: The client was experiencing a number of problems at the site, including theft and other loses, and community unrest connected to artisanal and small scale mining. The client was aware of criminal infiltration of the mine site but had not mapped the extent of lead infiltration or the quantity of losses they were experiencing.
 
What we did:
• We conducted a rapid, discreet and conflict sensitive field investigation process, whereby we engaged with key stakeholder groups and began mapping elicit economies connected to the mine. This enabled us to start building a picture of the total size of theft and losses that the company was experiencing.

 

• From there we built a picture of the capability required to execute and manage that type and level of criminal activity.

 

• We undertook deep dives into specific operations in order to understand the different levels of infiltration for the different kinds of theft.

 

• We were able to pull together a complete map of the areas and size of theft and loss, the processes of stealing, the capability required to steal specific assets at specific quantities, and therefore the level of infiltration required to execute the theft. In addition we drew-up a picture of the presumed command and control structure required to manage the theft operation.

 

• In addition, we conducted an investigation into artisanal and small scale mining, community dependency on it, and community-syndicate patronage relationships.

 

The outcome: We provided the client with a clear picture of criminal infiltration of the mine site executed with zero incidents and accidents.

 


 

Subnational stabilisation plan for the Government

 
Location: Confidential
 
Client: A sitting president and a western government
 
The Problem: An ongoing criminalised insurgency was underway in part of the country, for which there had been multiple failed attempts to address. The incoming  president instigated the design of a stabilisation strategy and program for the region that would enable him to align key government institutions and external partners.

 

What we did:
• We convened the closest advisors of the President in this region over a three month period in order to co-design a stabilisation strategy.

 

• We evidenced the discussions and dialogue that took place with research on key topics, including security sector reform, regional development plans, dispute resolution for inter- and intra-community conflict, disarmament, demobilisation and integration efforts.

 

• We consulted key parties to the insurgency.

 

• We designed a strategy and a supporting programme for the President.

 

The outcome: A subnational stabilisation programme for a sitting president was realised.