IPIECA has developed new guidance on Community development agreements which aims to assist practitioners in identifying the typical steps necessary for the oil and gas industry when negotiating and structuring agreements with communities.
From 2015–2016 IPIECA undertook a research project to review the content of its 2008 guidance, Creating successful, sustainable social investment. One of the findings of the research was that formal community development agreements (CDAs) are likely to become more of a norm than an exception in the near term. This is a result of increasing government intervention in social investment, and a natural progression transforming what were once innovative and voluntary practices a decade ago, towards best practices widely adopted within the industry, and finally into regulations.
The new guidance helps oil and gas companies decide whether a CDA is appropriate and helps them understand the actions that need to be taken to successfully negotiate and implement a CDA. The guidance is structured into five elements:
- Building knowledge and understanding of the regulatory and community context
- Developing the company’s internal capacity and management systems
- Ensuring inclusive external engagement, community representation and capacity
- Negotiating the content of the CDA
- Implementing, monitoring and reviewing agreements