In Madagascar, Search for Common Ground (SFCG), a non-profit with the mission to end conflict, has worked with Ambatovy for a number of years to foster participatory and two-way dialogue between the company and the community. The reason for engaging with a peace-minded civil society organization is their specialized focus on consensus-building. In Madagascar, like many places in the world, misinformation and rumours can lead to conflict and mistrust. For Ambatovy, it has always been critical to maintain open dialogue to share operational updates and news but also to receive feedback. Refer to this section for more information on grievance management in particular.
SFCG has been involved in the organization of participatory theatre events, joint community initiatives, and mini “town hall meetings” in several communities near our operations. The most unique and popular dialogue tool has been “Miandrandra Maraina (“In Search of Dawn”), which is a radio soap opera produced by SFCG with support from Ambatovy. The show, now in its third season, uses actors (including Ambatovy employees who volunteer for fun!) to communicate key messages in a fun and interactive way. The show is aired on local radio stations in Toamasina and Moramanga. Episodes address topics like community life, mining company presence, citizen participation and good governance, among others.
In 2018, as an example of the partnership that has evolved between the two organizations, a staff member from Ambatovy’s Sustainability team participated at the ICMM Forum on Partnerships and Collaboration for Sustainable Development in London. The President of SFCG, along with Ambatovy, presented on strengthening company-community relations to build trust, in a session called “Partnering to Promote Peace, Stability and Inclusive Economic Development”.