In this new initiative, CCCS CEO Dr. Greg Guldin is offering his decades-long social development experience to support International Financial Institutions (IFIs), private firms, and government agencies in their implementation of social standards requirements via the new RSCA approach.
Rapid Social Compliance Assessment (RSCA) is a new service approach that provides clients with an enhanced due diligence assessment of whether a project, company, or government agency complies with IFI social standards. If a project, company, or agency is found non-compliant, the RSCA outlines policy and/or project measures to not only bring the client into compliance but—more importantly—improve client social performance. RSCA is based on the extensive social impact planning and evaluation experience of CCCS and Dr. Guldin in identifying potential social safeguards pitfalls and establishing management systems to ensure continued compliance with international social standards.
The RSCA is especially useful for:
- small companies in need of expert international social standards advising
- larger companies in need of enhanced due diligence (confirming in progress social standards compliance efforts)
- projects at an early stage of social standards assessment
- projects / companies / agencies at an organizational design / budget and planning phase
The RSCA approach is divided into two stages:
- Stage 1: Preliminary Assessment. The primary aim of the Preliminary Assessment is to gain an operational overview of the client’s social performance, in order to advise the client as to the status of their social management quality and performance. Enriched by Dr. Guldin’s rich knowledge of IFI policymaking and safeguards implementation, this overview relies on two sources of data:
- (1) A document review and desk study of the project’s contexts—e.g., social, cultural, legal, historical, and ethnographic.
- (2) On-site visits by Dr. Guldin to relevant project locations (typically over a period of 5 to 7 days) to conduct interviews with key staff and observe the implementation of social project planning.
Clients are provided with a Preliminary Assessment Report, which includes: i) a Social Standards Compliance Gap Analysis which details where the project stands with regards to IFI social safeguards compliance, ii) recommendations for immediate remedial actions to address critical social operational issues, as necessary, and iii) identifies the additional data and documentation that need to be compiled and reviewed for Stage 2.
- Stage 2: Compliance Planning. Based on the Preliminary Assessment Report, Dr. Guldin assembles a team of two to three Senior Social Development Specialists with expertise in precisely the areas the Preliminary Assessment Report found wanting. This team assesses the additional documentation gathered by the client following Stage 1’s recommendations and returns to the project area(s) over a 5 to 7 days period to collect further data and explore practical long-term compliance approaches, focusing on the gaps exposed in the Preliminary Assessment Report. The team provides a series of recommendations to the client on how to fill those gaps and achieve compliance as components of a Social Safeguards Compliance Plan. The Plan, furthermore, goes beyond “box-ticking” to emphasize working with the client to enhance client social performance—the goal, after all, of IFI operational social standards. If relevant and needed, national social safeguards standards and regulations may also be assessed as part of the Compliance Plan.
- Optional Project Support: If desired by the client, Dr. Guldin and the Senior Social Development Specialists can assist the project with the implementation of the Compliance Plan’s recommendations. This can take various forms, depending on client needs. For example, the RSCA team might assist the project with the recruitment and/or training of project staff responsible for social standards implementation; advise on the development of management systems, undertaking social assessments, and formulating action plans; perform external monitoring of these social safeguard efforts; and facilitate the drafting of new social standards policy documents.
- Performance Enhancement: The RSCA guides clients to enhanced social performance via project management and operations. The goal is financial bottom-line improvement achieved through improved social outcomes on the ground, i.e., IFC’s “social license to operate.”
- Speed: From contract signing through final report delivery, a full RSCA can be implemented within 3 months for most projects.
- Quality: Social safeguards assessors will all be reliable, ethical, and efficient professionals, drawn from the roster of highly experienced CCCS Senior Social Development Specialists—all who have devised social safeguard policies and then worked to implement them across multiple sectors, countries, and public/private settings.
- An Insider’s Perspective: With their experience serving on IFI policy formulation teams for the World Bank, ADB, EBRD, and many others, the RSCA Team can provide clients with an inside perspective of what assessors look for when evaluating social compliance and of how to strengthen social management.
- Cost Control: The RSCA Approach comes with predictable and reliable budgets, streamlined to generate relevant assessments quickly and affordably. All budgets are negotiated and pre-approved by the client before work begins.
While every project is different, the typical pricing of the RSCA approach is:
- Stage 1 (Preliminary Assessment): USD 23,000-27,000 (plus expenses)
- Stage 2 (Comprehensive Assessment): USD 40,000-60,000 range (plus expenses)
Dr. Greg Guldin is a senior applied anthropologist with extensive expertise in social development policies, projects, and performance assessments in many regions. Greg’s experience has been multi-faceted, and includes:
- Researching social change as a field anthropologist in rural and urban areas (1980s through 2000)
- Policy formation and project planning for social safeguards (especially on Indigenous Peoples & FPIC) with international financial organizations (1997 through 2013)
- Implementing social safeguards policy in the private sector (2005 through today)
Greg’s experience is fully international, having worked on projects on the ground throughout Asia and the Russian Federation and overseeing projects and policy formation in Africa, the Americas and globally. His reports and analyses are concise, accessible, non-judgmental, and practical based on the client’s capacity and proclivities.
For a pre-defined cost, clients can receive clear and reliable assessments of their compliance with international social safeguard standards in just a few months, providing management with implementable policy and programmatic options to bring the project/company/agency into—or surpass—global development standards and to strengthen social management systems and action plans.