Case story

  • Nigeria

Facilitator

  • David Fairman

    Managing Director

    Consensus Building Institute

  • David Plumb

    Senior Associate

    Consensus Building Institute

Parties

Negotiation of GMOUs between Chevron and communities in the Niger Delta around its facilities

'The Only Government We See': Building Company/Community Dialogue in Nigeria

Case Story

'The Only Government We See' tells the story of the negotiation of Global Memoranda of Understanding (GMOUs) between Chevron and communities in the Niger Delta around its facilities. The process began after violent conflict in the region in 2003 led to the withdrawal of the company and the destruction of property, including schools and hospitals the company had built for communities. The film describes the new approach to dialogue with communities that the company adopted on its return, based on full participation and joint partnership. It relates the role played by the head of the New Nigeria Foundation, a local NGO that came in to mediate the dialogue and help build the foundations for increased trust between those involved. It conveys how and why the communities decided to engage in the dialogue, what progress and challenges emerged along the way, and the outcomes that have been achieved. It reflects how this experience spawned a continuing process of periodically evaluating and renegotiating the GMOUs, again with the full participation of the communities themselves, to keep them relevant and vital. 

This is the third of four films in a series on company-community dialogue produced by the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School on behalf of the mandate of the former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Business and Human Rights, Professor John Ruggie. The first film in the series, Making Monkey Business, involves a hydro-electric power plant and surrounding communities in the Philippines; the second, Putting Ourselves in Their Shoes, involves a copper mine in Peru and indigenous communities. The fourth and final film, Company-Community Dialogue: An Introduction, is a compilation of the first three that highlights common themes between them. 

The films were produced with the generous support of the Government of Norway, the Compliance Advisor/Ombudsman of the World Bank Group, the International Bar Association and the Government of Germany. The films are MATCH productions. 

On November 29, 2012, the series won “best communication or publication” award at the biennial Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution's (CEDR) awards ceremony held in London. The series makes a compelling case for Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) methods and processes, using real life corporate-community case studies to show the immediate and long term benefits of facilitated dialogue.

 

Original Authors:

Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School on behalf of the mandate of the former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Business and Human Rights, Professor John Ruggie.

Release Date: May 17th, 2012