Excellence in Global Infrastructure & Community Impact for 20+ Years.
Led by Dr. Garry M. Keegan, IPC, a pioneering force in infrastructure and urban development, excels in negotiating solutions with stakeholders, particularly local communities surrounding new facilities. With a diverse client base spanning utility companies, local authorities, and international building development firms, IPC has been instrumental in major projects across Ireland, the U.K., Continental Europe, and beyond. Dr. Keegan, a distinguished expert with an MBS from University College Dublin, an MA in Mediation from Maynooth University, and a Ph.D. from the National University of Ireland Galway, seamlessly blends academic prowess with over two decades of practical insights. His international impact extends to serving as Operating Agent for Task 28, a research collaboration on the Social Acceptance of Wind Energy Projects under the International Energy Agency, showcasing IPC’s commitment to driving positive change with global influence.
Good Public Consultation Costs Money
But Poor Public Consultation Costs More.
Each time a new infrastructure project is initiated, it encompasses a multitude of public policy and community stakeholders, and the potential for conflict is high.
Importance of Public Consultation
Risks of Inadequate Consultation: Discussing the consequences of insufficient public consultation, including penalties, delays, weakened positions, and damaged public images.
Objections and Challenges: Highlighting the common occurrences of objections and challenges in major infrastructural and urban developments worldwide.
Resisting Change: Exploring how public resistance often stems from a lack of understanding or agreement, emphasizing the pitfalls of keeping the public uninformed.
Benefits of Public Consultation
Raising Awareness: Stressing the critical role of public consultation in creating awareness of a project’s impacts.
Gaining Agreement: Emphasizing the importance of gaining public agreement on management and technical approaches to maximize benefits and reduce negative consequences.
Business Sense: Connecting public consultation to good business practices, citing potential financial risk reduction, cost savings, and enhanced social benefits.
Stakeholder Engagement for Sustainable Development
Core of Sustainable Development: Positioning stakeholder engagement at the heart of any sustainable development agenda.
Ensuring Success: Arguing that a project is more likely to succeed in the long term when it considers the environment and meets the needs of stakeholders.
Stakeholder Engagement as Risk Management: Highlighting stakeholder engagement as a form of risk management, particularly crucial in larger and more complex projects.
Controversy Surrounding Infrastructure Projects
Media Reporting: Discussing how the media frequently highlights controversial projects and policies designed for economic and social development.
Protester Actions: Describing the actions taken by protesters, such as digging tunnels, tree tie-ins, and site blockades, in response to perceived overruns and issues.
Examples of Controversial Projects: Providing examples of controversial environmental public policies and infrastructure projects, including roads, rail, utilities, and urban development areas.
Challenges Faced by Controversial Projects
Negative Impacts: Examining the negative impacts endured by controversial projects, such as negative publicity, time and cost overruns, injunctions, and general acrimony.
Lack of Public Participation: Highlighting the varying degrees of public participation in different projects and how communities become involved in conflicts.
Research as a Solution: Emphasizing the role of research in providing direction for future infrastructural development and resolving conflicts.
Community Acceptance and Distributive Justice
Infrastructure Development Constraints: Identifying community acceptance as a key constraint to infrastructure development.
Public Resistance: Acknowledging the evidence of high levels of public resistance to controversial projects and the lack of knowledge regarding distributive justice initiatives.
Government Responsibility: Stating the responsibility of governments, from national to local municipalities, to establish policies and budgets enabling infrastructure provision, emphasizing the need for social acceptability.
Pleasing Varied Stakeholders: Discussing the challenge of satisfying diverse stakeholder groups, including the general public, consumers, investors, host communities, environmentalists, and special interest groups.
Balancing Interests: Addressing the complexities of stakeholder interests and the potential conflicts arising when what pleases one group may not please others.
Community Engagement and Infrastructure Siting
Importance of Community Knowledge: Emphasizing the necessity for those implementing public policy projects, especially in rural communities, to understand the community’s perceptions and concerns.
Community Gain Programs: Discussing the significance of community gain programs and how a better understanding can assist policymakers and stakeholders in successfully siting controversial infrastructure projects.
Challenges in Grid Development: Highlighting the considerable challenges in grid development and the difficulties posed by organized stakeholders in siting unwanted transmission lines.
Community Acceptance in Renewable Energy Projects
Constraints in Wind and Solar Projects: Addressing community acceptance as a key constraint in the development of onshore wind, offshore wind, and solar power projects.
Resistance in Different Projects: Noting the resistance faced by projects, whether single or multi-site, and the need for varying degrees of public participation depending on the project’s nature and promoter.
Effective Communication in Community Engagement
Challenges in Communication: Discussing the challenges where information and initiatives, such as impact assessments and community gain schemes, may not be effectively communicated.
Need for Effective Communication: Stressing the importance of realizing ineffective communication techniques and the subsequent need for policymakers and project promoters to adjust their marketing and communication strategies.
IPC's Objective and Approach
IPC’s Primary Objective: Outlining IPC’s primary objective to provide knowledge and expertise for successful engagement with local communities.
Equipping with Best Practices: Emphasizing the aim to equip individuals with best practices to build financially successful, environmentally responsible, and socially responsible projects.
Value Addition through Consultancy and Training: Highlighting how IPC consultancy and tailored training add value to individuals’ skill sets, preparing them for engaging with difficult local stakeholders worldwide.
Global Applicability of Principles
Universal Principles in Stakeholder Engagement: Asserting that, regardless of location, the same principles apply to engaging with local stakeholders.
Confidence Building: Explaining how IPC’s consultancy and training instill confidence in individuals when encountering local resistance and when being considered for significant infrastructure projects.