Capacity Building and Training

Our Experience includes:

Community Development Needs Assessment and Management Plan, Suriname
Acorn International was chosen to perform a needs assessment for an oil and gas exploration program offshore Suriname. The assignment includes reviewing the local community context, social investment history and range of current development programs in order to create a community development and social responsbility program that provides strategic benefit to both business and community. The assessment is using in-country research as a basis for development of implementation plans that take advantage of local strengths and opportunities.

Training: IFC Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability
Acorn International has been selected to develop and deliver training on the environmental and social performance requirements of the International Finance Corporation. Our client, a major oil and gas company, has established a loan facility with the IFC for potential project funding. To that end, the company has sought training from Acorn International to ensure that its senior management has up-to-date knowledge of the eight standards. The training will include practical aspects of the performance standards as a risk management tool, including: criteria for their application, resource and capacity needs for implementation, and key lessons learned in previous extractive industry projects.

Local Content Skills and Needs Assessment, French Guiana
Acorn International led an evaluation of the local capacity and skills in French Guiana for participation - through employment and provision of services - in the country's nascent oil and gas sector. This study was undertaken at the request of a major energy company seeking to ensure that future development of offshore hydrocarbon resources maximizes the value and positive contributions of strategic local content. The study involved building on existing government studies and using in-country stakeholder interviews to evaluate demographic trends, educational attainment, and socioeconomic conditions. In addition to presenting data regarding the trades, skills and enterprises present in the local economy, the assessment made recommendations for projects and investments in support of local content.

Environmental Governance and Regulation Needs Assessment and Capacity Building Plan
Acorn International was commissioned to lead a multi-stakeholder study of Ghana’s needs in relation to environmental governance and regulation of its growing oil and gas industry. The study, performed on behalf of Ghana’s Ministry of Environment under sponsorship of an oil company operating a portion of the Jubilee Field, involved evaluating current conditions, benchmarking global best practice and peer performance, identifying priority capacity building needs and developing and presenting a capacity development plan for meeting the highest priority needs. Acorn International’s core team of consultants worked with our in-country partner plus two Ministry representatives to perform research, conduct interviews, lead workshops, develop recommendations and present findings to a multi-agency assembly charged with implementing the recommended developments.

Ghanaian agencies, NGOs and oil companies are coming together to support the capacity building plan because of its strong basis in the global benchmarking and collaborative, multi-stakeholder work methodology and its ability to help the Ministry of Environment. Acorn International’s work gave the Ministry and other agencies the plans and foundations needed to take advantage of $58 million in funding that was made available from the World Bank for capacity building related to the increase in oil industry activities in Ghana.

Environmental Regulation Needs Assessment and Capacity Building Initiative
Acorn International supported the Liberia Environmental Protection Agency in determining its priority needs for regulating the emerging oil and gas industry activities in that country. We did so through a series of meetings, facilitated trips and discussions, and by participating in a multi-stakeholder needs assessment workshop in Washington DC to define gaps relative to global benchmarks, prioritize regulatory and governance development needs and identify potential sources of financing to support the LEPA in meeting these needs.

Community Development Needs Assessments and Community Development Management Plans
Acorn International performed three separate Social Impact and Opportunity Assessments for oil and gas exploration / production programs in the US Gulf of Mexico coastal zone, Arkansas shale gas fields, and Philippines/Malaysia coastal communities. Each involved performing social baseline studies, facilitating workshops with project teams to identify and prioritize community investment/development needs and developing initial management plans for investment in host communities over time. The Arkansas needs assessment was for an on-going shale gas production program and therefore more complex than the other two. This Assessment included a 700-respondent telephone survey of community members plus interviews with county judges to identify, prioritize and evaluate the needs and opinions of community residents and other stakeholders.

ESHIA Management Program Development, Kuwait Petroleum International
Acorn International helped KPI develop and deliver training on company-wide environmental due diligence (EDD) process and an environmental, social and health impact assessment (ESHIA) program to better manage the company’s risks associated with new assets and projects. The first step in the work was to perform a careful assessment of needs by interviewing management and employees, reviewing records and facilitating workshops. The objective of this stage of the assignment was to ensure the company had a broad and accurate understanding of prioritized needs across the company’s global business units for environmental, social and health impact management prior to designing and implementing programs to manage these impacts.

As a follow-up, KPI asked Acorn International to develop ESHIA Program guidelines, screening/scoping tools, stakeholder engagement guidance, competency and training criteria for each category of responsibilities for ESHIA and a training/awareness building session. We worked closely with KPI to develop and prepare for the training, and delivered the training workshop to a group of 20-30 leading HSE professionals and managers within KPI and its sister companies.

Community/Social Management Standards and Guidelines
Acorn International helped one of the largest companies within the extractive industry to develop company-wide standards and guidelines for stakeholder engagement, community development and human rights. As with the KPI example above, this work began with a careful assessment to identify, prioritize and assess the company’s specific needs for consistent, company-wide protocols in these areas. The work also included defining the type and extent of human resources necessary for the company to roll-out and implement each aspect of the proposal standards and guidelines.

Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA) Facilitation
Acorn International was chosen as one of a few outside firms to be trained to serve as facilitators for a major oil company’s Environmental, Social and Health Impact Assessment (ESHIA) process. Three Acorn staff members have been trained to facilitate the company’s ESHIA process by leading project teams of company personnel and contractors through the Screening, Scoping, Impact Assessment, and Stakeholder Engagement and Management Plan processes on developing projects.

ESHIA Facilitation Training, South Asia
Acorn International’s Principal was selected to help develop and co-lead an ESHIA Facilitation training session of Chevron company staff and contractors. A four-day training session was completed in Thailand in August of 2007.

Benchmarking and Recommending Best Practices in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production in Sensitive Areas Worldwide, Brazil
Acorn International worked as part of a team to identify current practices, as well as study and recommend applicable best industry practices for environmental and sustainable development management for the National Oil and Gas Company in Brazil. Our work involved facilitating client workshops, benchmarking best practices in areas of interest, and recommending a plan for how the client can integrate the best practices into its operations.

EIA Training Course for Petroleum Industry Activities, Brazil
Acorn International’s Principal led the development and delivery of a one-week course in performing EIA for International Oil and Gas activities under contract and direction of the World Bank. Working with the World Bank and integrating its guidelines, we designed the course, prepared training materials, and performed the training for the first one-week session of the course for Petrobras in Brazil.

OIMS Implementation Workshop, Azerbaijan
Acorn International’s Principal led an OIMS management system workshop and implementation plan for Exxon and other operators in Azerbaijan (under contract to Exxon) to strengthen operating practices and industry license to operate in view of emerging national regulations.

Development of Impact Assessment Guidance Tool, Worldwide
Acorn International’s Principal worked with Exxon environmental specialists to develop a guidance document to help Exxon teams worldwide determine likely impacts that might be expected and mitigation measures that might be required for different types of E&P activities in different environments. The tool took the form of an integrated, user-friendly matrix.