Maintaining corporate social responsibility is vital in securing a stable operating environment, especially for a project which is the largest ever industrial project in a developing country's history. The selection of social key performance indicators (KPIs) to promote long-term strategic goals, to set targets, to keep track of performance, to pro-actively identify triggers for change and to drive future improvement in performance is crucial for success as a company's social performance is closely linked to its financial performance.
This has application for other major oil and gas investment projects in developing countries where the social context creates particular challenges and where a multi-stakeholder environment exists.
A range of indicators have been developed to support the ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the company's Social Management Plan including community investment projects, livelihood restoration, reinstatement and the effectiveness of community engagement within the project area. Indicators are utilized to track process and progress, and to determine whether the social component is making a positive difference (maximizing beneficial project impacts) or minimizing risk (mitigating or reducing the negative impact of project activities as far as practicable). It determines if goals and objectives are being achieved; project design and criteria are being followed; implementation effects are occurring as predicted; emerging or unanticipated issues are arising; projects are efficiently and effectively managed; lender/social performance review requirements are complied with; international best practice is followed; national legislation is adhered to and whether human development and capacity building takes place.
This work is highly significant and in measuring progress and success factors and thus in maintaining social stability. While monitoring is ongoing to ensure that project activities and budget are on track, evaluation is periodically undertaken to assess progress towards stated goals including value, relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, value-added merits, sustainability and/or impact of an intervention, project or programme. It provides valuable management information, judges the value and merits of an intervention, and draws lessons for future actions and decision making.