Stakeholder engagement & social appraisal

Ensuring full participation and cooperation of communities in project-affected areas, with particular sensitivity to vulnerable and marginalised groups.

Our approach to social assessment involves tailored, participatory communications activities and engagement with stakeholders to gain an understanding of contexts: formal, informal, traditional, and cultural.

We work closely with indigenous peoples to incorporate traditional knowledge into social assessment and communications approaches.We offer stakeholder engagement services in complex and challenging environments, supporting our clients’ capacity to develop and implement stakeholder engagement strategies at all project stages.

We adhere to best practice standards and requirements of development banks, in particular International Finance Corporation (IFC) standards, ensuring tailored participatory approaches that account for community needs.


  • stakeholder analysis
  • design, development and production of documentation for stakeholder engagement
  • tailored stakeholder engagement plans, communications strategies, and public awareness and sensitisation campaigns
  • development of site-specific and appropriate tools and methods for data collection
  • specialist studies-social environmental, livelihoods, land-use, water, cultural heritage, natural resource use
  • participatory consultation towards an agreed understanding of social impacts and development of mitigation measures
  • social impact appraisal and assessment
  • information-sharing, gathering and dissemination
  • project briefs and non-technical summaries

Recent projects

Uganda: Stakeholder Engagement Plan, Best Practicable Environmental Options Study (BPEO), Albert Development Project

Tullow Oil, 2013-present

We are providing stakeholder engagement services to Tullow Oil Uganda for an oil and gas development in the Albertine Graben as part of a BPEO Study for the management of drilling wastes, working with Tullow and key government stakeholders to produce and implement a Stakeholder Engagement Plan (SEP). The SEP is a guide to meaningful engagement with internal and external stakeholders to ensure community and stakeholder perspectives are incorporated throughout the life cycle of the development.

South Sudan: Social Appraisal, South Sudan Feeder Roads Programme

DFID, 2012

Our social appraisal for this £50m Feeder Roads Programme involved extensive community engagement in rural areas: focus groups and interviews with women, internally displaced persons and conflict-affected youth to collect data to inform the road network design, taking into account community resettlement; access to services; and dispute resolution over cattle between affected communities.

Nepal: Rural Access Programme (RAP)

DFID, 1999-present

RAP uses the construction of road infrastructure as an entry point for improving the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people in remote areas of Nepal.

Now in its third phase, RAP has built thorough stakeholder engagement into its working culture and its more formal processes and procedures. Before any work is undertaken in a new region, district engagement workshops are held with local government, residents and potential employees. These workshops are an open forum to discuss the assumed benefits of the new road and attendant livelihoods interventions, helping to foster a sense of local pride and ownership of the programme.

Each workshop also enables stakeholders to raise concerns and share local knowledge of potential pitfalls for project implementation, such as natural resource management, climate, topography, and endemic social and gender discrimination.

Montserrat: Stakeholder Engagement Strategy, National Physical Development Plan 2011-2020

DFID, 2010-2011

As part of wider reconstruction efforts, IMC designed and implemented a participatory Public Awareness and Communications Strategy for the Montserrat Physical Development Plan 2011-2020, engaging with government departments, businesses, community groups, residents and hard to reach interest groups such as the international diaspora in the USA, UK, Canada and Caribbean region.

The Strategy was successfully implemented over 14 months, using engagement techniques that include local and national media tools, social media and press materials. This was complemented by traditional engagement techniques such as focus group meetings and roundtable sessions.

Lesotho: The Likalaneng-Thaba Tseka Road Upgrading Project

National Roads Authority, Lesotho, 2005-2008

As part of this road upgrading project, IMC developed and implemented a peer-education based, HIV and AIDS awareness and mitigation programme for both the contractor workforce and project-affected communities.

Small community gatherings and workforce meetings were arranged, with villagers and workers selecting their own representatives or peer educators. Over two years, we provided training, information material and condoms to these peer educators, who cascaded this information through their peer groups. IMC documented this process, experiences and lessons learned, to produce practical guidelines manual and set of universal contract clauses for the Ministry of Public Works and Transport for use on all future road projects in Lesotho.