External Evaluation: Search for Common Ground Tanzania’s Sustainable Business Practices (2019)
Search for Common Ground Tanzania & NVM Consulting
In Tanzania, Search for Common Ground (Search) has been operational since 2011, working to promote gender equality and good governance, encourage greater objectivity in the media and overcome differences that divide Tanzanians, including those who live around extractive industries, improving relationships between companies, local communities and the government. Search’s mission is to transform the way the world deals with conflict away from adversarial approaches, toward collaborative solutions. Search is one of the signatories to the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHRs), a set of guidelines on human rights designed for extractive sector companies. As part of their commitment to the VPSHRs, Search helps governments, local civil society, and companies develop conflict-sensitive approaches to their activities,leveraging investments in social projects to promote community cohesion and yield positive societal outcomes.
Sustainable Business Practice (SBP) is Search’s application of the Common Ground Approach to transform conflict between communities and the private sector. In countries emerging from conflict or experiencing political and social upheaval, ensuring socio-economic development is felt by all is critical for stability and the private sector plays an important role in achieving this. Long-term investments by the private sector generally require stability to be realized. For example, it often requires several years for the extractive industry to develop mining sites before they can produce. Conversely, communities which have gone through years of violent conflict are often in a hurry to feel the positive impact of the private sector in rebuilding their post-conflict economies and providing jobs. This disconnect can exacerbate local conflicts and produce deadly violence in the worst-case scenario. Ensuring peace is sustained and prosperity is shared is possible, and Search believes that sustainable businesses require resilient stakeholder relationships.