Before starting assessments, ensure they can be carried out at a pace amenable to broad based discussions, with consideration of indigenous communities and local knowledge
When assessing potential project impacts consider:
- Who will be the potentially impacted Indigenous Peoples and community
- The level of potential impact on the community and their culturally significant values and sites
- The nature of the impact eg primary (impacts that occur as direct consequence of a project or activity), secondary (impacts that occur as an indirect consequence), long or short term
- Whether the impact is positive, negative or has no effect
- The magnitude of the impact in relationship to the community and other impacted communities
It is then important to address the consequences Indigenous Peoples themselves consider important
Where necessary a gender impact assessment should be undertaken. Collect and use sex-disaggregated data to assess how women and men are affected differently by impacts
Again, where necessary, consider undertaking a conflict assessment to assist in planning for, and minimising, the risks associated with conflict
Gender impact analysis questions to consider:
- Do you understand the different roles of women and men within the indigenous social and cultural context?
- What resources do the men and women have access to, and control of?
- Have you considered the impacts of policies, plans and programs on women, compared to men?
- Have you considered the impact of employing mainly men and the risk of power imbalances, income inequality and income flow on domestic conflict?
- Have you identified key issues and risks involving discrimination and unequal access of resources and services to women?
- Look at power structures and politics within women’s and men’s groups to identify commonalities and difference around impacts and assess the potential for conflict
Key factors to consider when undertaking a conflict assessment include:
- A conflict analysis requires as much diligence as any other risk analysis
- Look below the surface to identify potential future issues
- Mining projects can bring conflicts over access to financial payments and employment opportunities
- Conflict levels may be subject to changes from external factors unrelated to a mining project
- The International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) describes basic and operating principles that aim to promote meaningful integrations of traditional knowledge with respectful incorporation of Indigenous Peoples in impact assessment
- For further information on gender impact analysis see Why gender matters: a resource guide for integrating gender consideration into communities work at Rio Tinto
- For example gender impact analysis see Women, communities and mining: the gender impacts of mining and the role of gender impact assessment