Meaningful social impact assessment and stakeholder and community engagement can significantly reduce the risks, costs and delays in project delivery and enhance company reputation.
We have a strong team of passionate and qualified social practitioners, with our aim to amplify the shared and collective value that can be generated for businesses and their key stakeholders.. We develop tailored programs to help you:
Better understand the social/community contexts in which you work
Build more effective relationships with your stakeholders and local communities
Identify, evaluate, and manage the social impacts associated with your project
Improve your social license and acceptance to operate.
Experience and Expertise
Consistent with all government guidelines and principles around effective SIA and engagement practice, we have proven success across a range of sectors: Resources, renewables, infrastructure, urban development and social infrastructure planning, agriculture, and waste recovery.
“It’s not rocket science, but it is Social Science.”
People are more than just numbers in reports and tables, and we pride ourselves on developing trusted, respectful, and long-term relationships with our clients. We work with communities and all stakeholders to include their legitimate voice in decision making processes. While we know the theory well, we apply our knowledge practically on the ground, undertaking social assessment programs with diverse stakeholder groups and communities in urban, rural and remote contexts.
With one of the strongest reputations across Australia, and with our Practice Lead instrumental in the institutionalisation of SIA practice in government and industry, our highly experienced, national in-house social team is here to help.
Social Impact Assessment and Management
We deliver Social Impact Assessment (SIA) and Social Impact Management Plans (SIMPs) across Australia. We are known for our participatory SIA approach and believe that early and ongoing engagement informs SIA practice and enhances project planning and decision making. This enables issues/impacts to be proactively identified, addressed, managed and enhanced to deliver more acceptable project outcomes for all key stakeholders and local communities.
Social assessment processes and social impact management plans are developed for all project scales to deliver timely, effective, and creative strategies and solutions.
The proven expertise and experience of our Social Team ensures added value to industry, government, and community.
Stakeholder Engagement and Community Consultation
We utilise innovative and creative engagement techniques to engender meaningful stakeholder and community engagement through surveys, workshops, focus group and consultative and advisory committees. Relevant governance structures, programs, and projects are developed to address social issues and impacts.
Members of our team are IAP2 certified and have a sound knowledge of relevant international engagement standards (AAA1000 SES).
Community Profiling and Baseline Studies
Social baseline studies provide a foundation from which social impacts can be predicted. Our comprehensive community profiles provide an understanding of:
The characteristics of affected communities
Relevant social, cultural and demographic trends
Key stakeholders likely to be most affected by a project, including vulnerable or marginalised groups
Community values and built or natural features of importance
History of development and community response to change
Community needs and aspirations, to inform and plan for change
Social Risk and Issues Management
Our experience working in high profile and sensitive environments allows us to address social risks in a systematic and constructive manner. We work closely with clients to better understand the social risks associated with their respective projects and operational activities. Effective strategies are then developed to anticipate and manage risk and reduce social impact.
Our SIA and engagement programs also recognise the importance of process components that may exacerbate community outrage, and we design and implement our programs with these factors firmly in mind.
Social Investment Program and Project Evaluation
Robust evaluation programs are undertaken for community investment and partnership programs, at any scale. Such evaluations ensure that programs are meeting their objectives and that investment is well targeted to address community issues and needs.
The process facilitates value and benefit sharing for communities – and a solid social return on investment for our clients.
Social Performance, Appraisal and Due Diligence
Our specialist social practitioners are proficient in the measurement of social concepts and the development of reliable social indicators to assess and measure social performance. Our insights enable clients to better understand the business case for good social practice. By effectively contributing to the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the appropriate standards and policies to guide their social practice, Umwelt helps organisations develop a valuable social licence
Social and Community Research
We develop and implement social research, community perception and attitude surveys for government and industry clients. Given our social science qualifications, the team is highly proficient in the use of both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies and analytical techniques, including statistical analysis of social datasets. We are skilled in survey design, sampling, and stratification methods to ensure statistical reliability and validity of social data. High quality information graphics and spatial visualisations are produced to summarise results “at a glance” and clarify research outputs.
Strategic Social Advice and Peer Review
Our Principal Team is often asked to provide expert and peer review of social programs and processes. Our Social Practice Lead has published extensively within the social literature contributing to four international texts on social assessment, community resilience and engagement practice, with additional papers and articles published in relevant journals.