The main objective of this article is to provide significant new knowledge on the utilization of institutional and community focal points as a tool used in Yemen to communicate and manage information between the Company and its project neighbours to foster a stable and understanding environment. Taking into account that these institutional and community focal points are dedicated and voluntary stakeholders, the focal point system for communication is unique as it supports effective project implementation geared towards sustainable stability during the Operations phase of the Project.

As the country's largest-ever industrial investment project, it is essential for Yemen LNG Company to raise awareness of the Project activities among affected communities, and to define and manage stakeholder issues and expectations. The Company has developed a Public Consultation and Disclosure Plan (PCDP) and Community Development Programs (CDPs) to support a stable operating environment, to develop long-term relationships with project stakeholders and to bring social and environmental benefits to key stakeholders which translate into long-term self-sustained development.

The tribal context, local governance, institutional structures and socio-economic and socio-cultural conditions in the operating locus are challenging, and in-depth knowledge of these characteristics was essential to translate it into appropriate communication tools and messages to achieve the desired objectives. Throughout the Project, a great deal of experience, research and information about stakeholders, especially the neighbouring tribal communities and relations with them, their level of comprehension about the project and the social and cultural structures which govern behaviours and access to information have been gathered.

Taking into account that effective communication tools have to be sensitive and appropriate, in order to ensure the participation of stakeholders, knowledge of the area in which the Project operates and its characteristics (including geographical information, tribal structures and affiliations, socio-economic and socio-cultural circumstances, as well as lessons learned from the Construction phase of the project) is important to optimize communication through community and institutional focal points to ensure social stability. This has much wider application for large construction projects in culturally sensitive areas.

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