Developing an effective community engagement strategy is critical to a project's ability build awareness and to foster a culture of participation. Projects exist for the communities they serve. To ensure that a project reflects the values and needs of a community, decisions must be taken collaboratively and the learning process mutual. Dissemination and dialogue are equal partners. A compelling strategy will create an image and develop marketing collateral as part of its communication plan. In addition to public hearings and disclosure meetings, an option for longer-term project is to establish a permanent channel of communication such as community liaison office.
Sample projects for socio economic research consulting, Egypt & Middle East:
Appraisal of Community Consultation Mechanism in Idku Gas Hub and Community
Engagement Plan and Capacity Building for Community Representatives
Client: BG Egypt
2011 Project – Ongoing
The work entailed an analysis and mapping of the community stakeholders in Idku. Once the process was complete, the EDG team began organizing preliminary meetings with the community. Within a few short weeks, both the community and the gas hub companies had come to the table to discuss grievances and how to ameliorate their ties. As part of the community engagement plan, a community liaison office is being set up to permanently manage this relationship. It also involved developing several short-term projects that would demonstrate goodwill and commitment on the part of the gas hub companies.
Developing a Communication Strategy for the General Organization for Physical Planning (GOPP)
Client: United Nations Development Program and the GOPP
The primary objectives of this assignment was to equip the GOPP with the ability to institute good governance and to strengthen its ability to promote and actively solicit participation of its key stakeholders. To that end, the project developed an effective and sustainable communication strategy coupled with building the organization's internal capacity to respond to its existing and future communication requirements. EDG developed a brand image for the GOPP and established strong links between the organization and various media and communication outlets.
Environmental Impact Assessment Pyramids Plateau Groundwater Lowering
Client: USAID and the Supreme Council of Antiquities
Partner: Aecom USA, Inc.
Groundwater levels at the Pyramids Plateau in Giza had risen steadily over several decades due to proliferation of informal settlements—which lack adequate drainage services—and the increased availability of irrigation water as a result of the Aswan High Dam. The assessment identified the practical ways to safely counter the negative impacts this was having on the area's historic monuments. The study also entailed holding public hearings and disclosure meetings with the various stakeholders. It also involved preparing a monitoring program that would be in place during and after construction.