How do you define sustained positive outcomes?
We don’t! Sustained positive outcomes are defined by communities and individuals.That definition is inherently subjective and will mean different things to different people. But, participants in our research highlighted a few common underlying aspects.
Sustained positive outcomes:
Are long-lasting; they persist beyond the life of an extractive development project
Involve a balancing act, where the positive outcomes of extractive development outweigh the negative outcomes
Are you for or against mining and oil and gas?
Neither! Communities and local governments are responsible for deciding if and how natural resource development should take place in a specific region. We are interested in understanding the circumstances where it will be most successful for local communities.
How do you define local?
The definition of local will vary from place to place. To us, local communities are the communities that are most impacted by natural resource development. This could include the communities living right next door to the project, the communities that live along the road that is used by project or the communities that use the land and water ways that are impacted by the project. We will rely on the participants in our work to define local for themselves.
What is extractive development? Why is it significant?
Extractive development refers to mining and oil gas projects. Extractive resources make up a significant portion of our global economy. At the same time extractive developments often to lead to significant social, economic and environmental changes in remote parts of the world.
When we started this project we wanted to look at natural resource developments, meaning any activity
that uses natural resources for economic or social purposes. For the time being we are going to focus on extractive development, but we believe there is a commonality between extractive projects and other natural resource developments such as renewables (like wind energy), hydroelectricity, large-scale agriculture, or forestry.
Are you consultants?
No, we are not consultants. We don’t provide paid services to specific stakeholders nor are we paid by a specific stakeholder group to do our work. Our process and outputs will all be available to the public in an accessible way.
Why are you doing research?
Isn’t there a lot of information out there already?
There is a lot of information, but it is often:
Developed for and by a specific stakeholder group, which means it is not always accessible or available
to a wide variety of users
Very specific and focuses on performance related issues and opportunities
(e.g. grievance mechanisms, stakeholder engagement training, community agreements and IBAs).
These are all valuable tools, but they don’t necessarily answer the big questions - what drives good outcomes for local communities from natural resource development? There is an opportunity to complement and reinforce this information with the bigger picture understanding that NetPositive is developing.
We’re doing research to build a credible body of evidence based on what’s happening on the ground and the collective knowledge and wisdom that’s out there. We believe this is the best way to break down silos and support systemic change.
How are you going to get this information out to local level decision makers?
We are going to work with stakeholders in specific regions to design and disseminate the information in a way that makes sense and works well for that region. We will rely heavily on our partners and other stakeholders to take the lead on this.