Integrity was recently invited to present at the conference - "Oil for the Good of the People of South Sudan," organised by Norwegian People's Aid in Malakal, Upper Nile State, South Sudan. Marc Buchner, our Head of Office in Juba, presented initial findings from Integrity's research into the corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices of oil companies and consortia in South Sudan.
The research draws on a series of interviews with company representatives, investigating the complexities of delivering effective CSR when faced with significant economic, political, infrastructure and cultural challenges. Initial findings include:
- A gap in the understanding of oil companies on how CSR practices can fuel or diminish conflict in South Sudan, and a resulting lack of ownership over conflict mitigation strategies;
- How complex management structures of Joint Operating Ventures or oil consortia can diminish accountability and perpetuate confusion over responsibilities towards community development;
- Challenges faced by the oil companies and consortia in dealing with a nascent and complex, federalized political system.
The conference was well attended by a range of NGOs, government and oil company and consortia representatives. Conference participants were keen to discuss how CSR practices, as well as relations and cooperation between key stakeholders, could be better developed and supported.
Integrity's report will be published in September 2011.