How Partnerships between Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and Mining Companies Contribute to Community Development
Sep 16, 2014
Mining companies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are increasingly called to collaborate in the community development space. This is reflective of the overall shift in approaches to corporate social responsibility, and community development being one way a company can contribute positively to its communities of impact. Using nine case studies, as well as interviews with practitioners experienced in cross sector partnerships, the current study investigated the forms of engagement between mining companies and NGOs. Important drivers included contextual factors such as the inability for each sector to address development issues separately. Whilst there was still space for advocacy and advisory NGOs, most relationships fell into the “philanthropic partnership” category, and in other cases the partnership activities had been integrated into the core business of each of the partners. Despite the impetus for collaboration, common challenges were identified including reputational risk, differences in values and perspective, power imbalances and sustainability. Factors enabling success included relationship building, effective planning, strong leadership support, and strong community participation. Overall, the research calls for increased collaboration between partners to attain community development outcomes through leveraging shared resources.