Influencing innovation for environmental impact

Challenge

As part of its plan to ensure sustainable energy supply through investment in the renewable sector, the government of Egypt launched a large scale feed-in tariff program in the governorate of Aswan. The New and Renewable Energy Agency (NREA) leased out a large plot of land near the neighbouring village of Benban with plans to erect one of the largest solar farms in the world – essentially comprised of over 30 individual solar farms. Due to the size and complexity of the undertaking, key project stakeholders – namely the relevant governmental entities, the financial institutions providing loans, and the private sector renewable energy developers – opted to manage this as one large complex.

As such, developers in the Benban Solar Park formed a representative body known as the Benban Developers Association (BDA) and opted to jointly tender out the facility management of the complex as well as the design of a corporate social investment strategy. Both of these scopes were critical, as the BDA were tasked with streamlining the launch of the megaproject, ensuring effective communication with key stakeholders, complying with lender-mandated regulations, and driving the engagement of the local community.

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Approach

As part of the facility management consortium led by Hassan Allam Services, CID was responsible for contributing to the lender-mandated management plans for the site – namely those concerned with project-induced in-migration, integrating the local community in employment and supplier opportunities on the site (i.e. increasing local content), stakeholder mapping and engagement plans, as well as establishing a community liaison desk to serve as the key focal point for the site’s interface with the local community. We began with an in-depth mapping of project stakeholders on the local, governorate, and national levels, identifying key influencers and potential bottlenecks.

This information was then used to design a comprehensive stakeholder engagement plan, informing the BDA of the stakeholders they need to engage with, outlining the communication channels to be used, the frequency of communication, and the key messages at each engagement point. We then designed the strategic objectives, structure, and staffing of the Community Liaison Desks, recruited and trained the community liaison officers (CLOs) needed, and established the reporting mechanisms and scope of activities to ensure ongoing engagement with community stakeholders. We remained engaged with the CLOs for over 14 months, with our team serving as their technical advisors – setting the implementation plan for the CLOs and coaching them to deliver on the ground. With livelihood generation being a key priority for the project stakeholders, we worked to draft a local content plan that looked at how to maximize employment opportunities for the local community on the site, as well as how to integrate local enterprises in the site’s supply change. The team worked on identifying the skills gap that might prohibit this, and what capacity building interventions would be required to mitigate this. Finally, we were fully responsible for designing the corporate social investment strategy for the developers, beginning with an extensive community needs assessment to truly understand the local context and the most pressing socioeconomic needs locally. We then set a criteria to prioritize these areas thematically, and designed interventions for the developers to implement on the ground, providing a balance of short-term initiatives that would address immediate needs as well as long-term projects that would have sustainable impact on the local community. We developed an implementation plan and high level budget for the BDA, as well as the proposed governance structure for how to institutionalize their social investment efforts in a manner conducive to effective project implementation.

Results

As part of its plan to ensure sustainable energy supply through investment in the renewable sector, the government of Egypt launched a large scale feed-in tariff program in the governorate of Aswan. The New and Renewable Energy Agency (NREA) leased out a large plot of land near the neighbouring village of Benban with plans to erect one of the largest solar farms in the world – essentially comprised of over 30 individual solar farms. Due to the size and complexity of the undertaking, key project stakeholders – namely the relevant governmental entities, the financial institutions providing loans, and the private sector renewable energy developers – opted to manage this as one large complex.

As such, developers in the Benban Solar Park formed a representative body known as the Benban Developers Association (BDA) and opted to jointly tender out the facility management of the complex as well as the design of a corporate social investment strategy. Both of these scopes were critical, as the BDA were tasked with streamlining the launch of the megaproject, ensuring effective communication with key stakeholders, complying with lender-mandated regulations, and driving the engagement of the local community.

WHAT OUR CLIENTS SAY

For over 10 years Xerox Egypt has been in partnership with CID as our Marketing Communications Consultant, and the level of professional support we have been receiving since the inauguration of such successful and rewarding business relationship is invaluable.

The CID team is highly skilled and responsive to our business needs, which enabled us to use CID services to support other business objectives and programs beyond marketing communications, where they have proved similar levels of excellence

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Ashraf El Arman
VP, Global Supplies Group. Former Managing Director, Xerox Egypt

The team and I really enjoyed the process of rebranding our companies with CID. We had just come out of a major restructure and the CID team helped us shape strategic direction on both a brand and business perspective. Their team had the perfect balance between creativity of marketeers and the acumen of management consultants.

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Mohamed El Ahwal
CEO, IACC Holdings