From avoidance to mitigation : engaged communication to identify and mitigate mining impacts on communities
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SubjectAfrica; Corporate Social Responsibility; Development Communication; Mining; Participatory Action Research; Stakeholder
Active listening facilitates the identification of impacts and mitigation strategies of Sama Nickel's mining exploration activities on an Ivorian, West African community. Early awareness of potential negative impacts to avoid, early detection of existing negative impacts to mitigate, or identifying positive impacts to enhance, are all elements of the practice of Corporate Social Responsibility. Development Communication is a field research approach focusing on the first phase of the Multitrack Communication Model, the communication-based assessment, which emphasizes engaging in dialogic communication and active listening. Open-ended interviews conducted over a three-week period identified seven emerging themes: positive impacts, negative impacts, impressions, comprehension, communication, responsibilities, and priorities. Comparing and contrasting collected data resulted in the identification of a) impacts to be addressed by Sama Nickel, b) suggestions from stakeholders to improve community-company relations, and c) how communication-based assessment facilitates the identification of impacts and mitigation strategies. It is suggested that Sama Nickel consider implementing the adapted Multitrack Communication Model for the global natural resources sector to facilitate the continued identification of issues in communities. It is recommended further research be completed on the economic gains and benefits of adopting an engaged, inclusive multitrack communications approach to Corporate Social Responsibility.
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