RESOLVE Approach | Enfoque de RESOLVE
What Is the RESOLVE Approach?
With an over 35-year history of success in working as a neutral third-party convener on a range of environmental, social, and health challenges, RESOLVE brings expertise in resolving difficult issues and maintaining a balanced perspective in the midst of contention. The RESOLVE approach to fact finding involves consultation and communication with diverse stakeholders and experts throughout the stages of research design, execution, analysis, and delivery of results, with the goal of gathering information and developing a final report that is credible to all parties. At its core, fact finding is useful in creating a base of credible information, as well as in identifying information gaps and areas for additional research. In addition to increasing the potential to reach agreements and find solutions, the process typically builds relationships and improves cross-sector understanding of complex issues.
Independence and stakeholder engagement are fundamental principles of the RESOLVE approach. The fact-finding process is independent from the board and management of RESOLVE. An independent Advisory Group provides a balanced set of individuals of recognized integrity to review all key aspects of the mission and its report. The team conducts its program of work without reference to the board or management of RESOLVE. The financing of the mission is not conditional on specific activities or outcomes of the mission.
Stages in the Independent Fact-Finding Mission
Fact finding involves affected parties, engaged stakeholders, experts, and decision makers in a number of key steps. It is useful at the policy level and for site-based, community-level disputes. Fact finding does not take the place of other processes but can be a useful complement.
The mission is designed and implemented on a set of principles that include complete independence once the project is underway, transparency with regard to operations, and confidentiality when requested by stakeholders. Where human rights violations are alleged, particular priority is placed on ensuring affected parties are informed of the work of the mission and will have the opportunity to provide information directly to the mission. In all stages of the mission, active transparency to engaged and interested stakeholders is maintained.
Step 1: Assess the Need and Basis for a Fact-Finding Mission
RESOLVE first assesses the need and basis for – and the value and feasibility of – an independent fact-finding process, including the level of effort and expertise needed for a successful inquiry. We identify existing information and analyses, as well as the information gaps or controversies that could be addressed by research and inquiry. RESOLVE also assesses the situation and stakeholders’ perspectives, which provide important context. The first determination to make is whether RESOLVE could play a valuable role in bringing a neutral, collaborative approach to the issue at hand.
Step 2: Design the Independent Fact-Finding Process
Once a decision is made to proceed, RESOLVE develops a proposed work plan, including key research questions, an analytical framework, and a timeline for the process. For the YIFFM, the framework for analysis is international human rights standards – specifically, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Guidelines. RESOLVE then solicits input on the proposed process design from key stakeholders, including concerned parties, external stakeholders, and experts. We request the input of directly concerned parties at the beginning of the design process. In addition to seeking feedback on the process design and research questions, we also seek suggestions of credible participants with the necessary expertise for the mission team and Advisory Group. Affected parties and stakeholders are invited to provide written and verbal information they believe could be significant.
At this stage, we also begin identifying potential risks of the project to affected parties, community and civil society stakeholders, interviewees, and team members as part of the development of a risk assessment and mitigation plan.
Step 3: Recruit the Mission Team and Advisory Group
After consulting with stakeholders to identify criteria and candidates for participation, RESOLVE decides on the composition of a balanced, credible mission team and advisory group. In addition to the team leader, former Canadian Ambassador Tim Martin, the team will be composed of individuals with credibility from both the civil society and mining industry perspectives. Team members help identify sources of existing information and appropriate methods of information gathering and analysis; review and comment on the risk assessment and mitigation plan; participate in the fact-finding mission; and contribute to the drafting of the final report.
The advisory group is composed of up to five members drawn from respected senior leaders from industry and civil society. The purpose of the Advisory Group is to ensure mission independence, integrity, and credibility. Members of the advisory group – and the mission team – are selected as individuals and are not asked to represent an organization, association, or constituency. The advisory group reviews and comments on the terms of reference for the mission, its program of work, the risk assessment and mitigation plan, and the draft report of findings. The project’s financial records are shared with the advisory group to ensure transparency.
Step 4: Conduct the Mission
With the mission team and advisory group in place, the team undertakes the fact-finding mission. The tools used to conduct the fact-finding include the review of documents (i.e., legal documents, internal company communications, government reports, NGO publications, and media reports), interviews, and site visits in Peru. It may also include consultation with additional external experts as needed.
Step 5: Evaluate the Results and Draw Conclusions
After gathering the necessary information and data, the team evaluates the information in the context of international human rights standards and attempts to answer the questions established at the outset. The team discusses the significance of the information gathered, and considers underlying the assumptions and uncertainty levels. On this basis, the team determines how results could inform company policy, onsite practices, strategies, and/or upcoming decisions and offers appropriate recommendations. The draft mission report is shared with the advisory group for feedback and then finalized.
Step 6: Communicate the Results
When the mission is complete, RESOLVE publishes the report on its website, along with a summary of findings, and issues a press release announcing the report’s public availability. In addition to the public release, RESOLVE conveys the findings to Newmont, Yanacocha, and members of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights.