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Construction Projects and Community Engagement

June 2019
Nadir Hasan

Every significant construction project will impact the communities around it. This is particularly true of infrastructure schemes in developing countries. A highway can run through a farmer’s fields, cutting off his access to his crops or livestock. The reservoir created by a dam can drown whole villages, uprooting their residents and forcing them to relocate. Even those not directly affected must put up with years of noise, dust and disruption from the construction works.

Delivery of community benefits is very often required under a government-procured construction contract, and may be written into a funding agreement entered into with an MDB. However, the people with the power to cause the most disruption to a project, the communities themselves, are often overlooked.

Beale & Co recently acted in a dispute for the developer of a large-scale renewable energy project in Central America where community buy-in had not been agreed, resulting in significant delay to the construction project. In this article Associate Nadir Hasan looks at what had gone wrong and how to avoid these situations in the future.

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