OMV Yemen: Tribal relations

OMV Yemen: Tribal relations

What is the challenge?

The relationships between industry and tribes in Yemen are central to operational success. Some fatal incidents had occurred. We were commissioned in 2008 to help enable OMV to meet the required sustainability standards and commitments, and mitigate risks linked to stakeholders, minimising security and operational risks.

What solution was adopted?

A sustainability assessment was carried out and a strategy was developed based on internal and external stakeholder engagement (on-the-ground informal discussions, workshops with the company team), as well as international best practice and OMV global standards.

Work included:

  • stakeholder-related risk identification, management and mitigation – with a focus on government and tribal relations,
  • developing a common understanding of sustainability issues, and the related roles and responsibilities,
  • designing and resourcing CSR programmes for Operations, CPF and Pipeline to build local relationships and trust,
  • laying the ground for the possibility, once enough trust would be built, of having a steering group with government, community and company stakeholder representatives to develop and achieve their development plans.

Key steps along the way were: awareness and capacity building with coaching of internal stakeholders; pro-actively listening to and addressing feedback from external stakeholders; and providing the basis for a facilitated participatory decision-making process to find and implement solutions.

Results included: A year and a half of security incident-free operations followed the two weeks in which we were commissioned to establish the foundations outlined above.