Independent Social Performance was honoured to close out 2013 by providing a tailored and unique intensive two-day training course for Cordaid’s Extractives Group in The Hague. Cordaid is a highly respected Dutch-based International NGO that has been operating globally from Europe for over 100 years. The participants included Cordaid Extractive staff based locally in The Netherlands and some from Cordaid’s Colombia office. It was two full days of fantastic exchange, and the start of a collaborative relationship that Independent SP looks forward to contributing to.

“The in-house training by Independent SP was exactly what our team needed: a good overview of the tools and best practices in social performance used by oil, gas and mining companies today. Jordon Kuschminder has years of hands-on experience in this field and guided us through a wealth of material ranging from handbooks, presentations, short videos and practical exercises. Learning how extractive companies think and operate is extremely valuable in our daily work with local communities in fragile contexts, and this training certainly helped us to be ready for the next encounter.”

– Jeroen de Zeeuw – Programme Manager Extractives, Cordaid

Cordaid’s Extractives group was formally established in 2013 – although the NGO has been working on extractive challenges for several years before that. Cordaid focuses on providing support to “disintegrating societies, vulnerable regions and areas of conflict to build flourishing communities.” In their Extractives Group, they have active projects currently in Colombia, Congo (DRC), Guatemala, Nigeria, and South Sudan. Their work focuses on finding practical solutions, always starting from the perspective of local communities and in constructive dialogue with extractive companies and government.

Of interest is that in June of 2013, Chatham House (London, United Kingdom), with support from Cordaid Extractives, provided the opportunity for a group of 27 business leaders and extractive sector experts to meet in a workshop with the goal of identifying key challenges for establishing more constructive relations between communities and companies in the extractive industries, and to discuss available tools and best practices to do so. The outcome was a report entitled Revisiting Approaches to Community Relations in Extractive Industries: Old Problems, New Avenues?