Communications and Consultation
Hydropower projects involve a range of stakeholders, including local communities, catchment residents, government agencies, partners, contractors, suppliers, financiers, the media, academics, civil society and non-government organisations.
Stakeholders should be identified and engaged in the issues of interest to them, and communications and consultation processes establish a foundation for good stakeholder relations.
Effective stakeholder communication and consultation throughout the life of a hydropower project will help a project developer, owner or operator to manage external risks and opportunities.
Understanding good practice
Good practice in communications and consultation is defined in the Hydropower Sustainability Guidelines on Good International Industry Practice (HGIIP).
The guidelines are governed by the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Council, a multi-stakeholder group of representatives of civil society, industry, governments and multilateral and financial institutions.
Assessing project performance
Two assessment tools are available to measure hydropower project performance:
The Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol (HSAP) is used by independent accredited assessors to consider whether a project has achieved good and best practice at different stages of its life cycle. Communications and Consultation is addressed in P-1 for the preparation stage, I-1 for the implementation stage and O-1 for the operation stage.
The Hydropower Sustainability ESG Gap Analysis Tool (HESG) is used by independent accredited assessors to help project teams address any gaps against good practice in environmental, social and governance topics across 12 assessment sections. Communications and Consultation is addressed in Section 11.