Country: Global / Non-Specific
The public expects their input to count when it comes to energy and infrastructure projects. The traditional low priority given by engineers to public engagement must be reversed if vital project outcomes are to have any chance.
The importance of effective stakeholder and community engagement in the planning and implementation of projects necessitates an understanding of dealing with host communities and key stakeholders, particularly those who represent a perceived threat to your project. This is often a dilemma for project managers and failure to get it right can be costly in terms of public controversy, delayed or abandoned projects – as well as running the risk of damaged careers, reputations and relationships. Not involving communities in project development can have serious long-term negative impacts on a community’s economic, environmental and social outcomes. Establishing dialogue and building strong and genuine relationships with local communities and other stakeholders is now recognised as a vitally important part of any project. From large-scale resource projects and transport infrastructure to the development of local community facilities, stakeholders matter! Recent high-profile projects in gas, energy, electricity, water, wind, waste and transport have all encountered public controversy, outrage and media attention due to perceived shortcomings in participatory design and the standard of public consultation – with some organisations even hiring security firms to facilitate community engagement in rural Ireland.
Morrissey, Billy. 2015. “The Importance of Stakeholder and Community Engagement in Engineering Projects.” Engineers Journal (blog). April 21. Website. [#4416]
Updated: June 27, 2022