How it Works

Our Approach

The FPIC-360° Tool changes who collects data, how it collected and when it is considered. It addresses the important gap of monitoring and verifying project developers’ compliance with FPIC according to voluntary sustainability standards / financial institutions’ due diligence requirements.  Historically, there has been:

  • Little guidance on what FPIC looks like on the ground
  • Lack of knowledge and experience of FPIC
  • Existing tensions between community and project developer
  • Lack of resources dedicated to assuring FPIC

The Tool’s objectives are:

  • Aligned with international human rights law and FPIC safeguards.
  • Guidance for assurance providers / verifiers / assessors.
  • Increase community participation in the assurance process.
  • Serve as a step-by-step educational resource.
  • Facilitate gathering and archiving of verifiable evidence from multiple sources, bottom up and top down.
  • Provide a user-friendly interface for:
    • tracking progress of the FPIC process
    • managing evidence / documentation in support of the process
    • facilitating dialogue between relevant parties in the FPIC process
    • an iterative approach to monitoring FPIC rather than a linear ‘check-box’ approach

The Tool

EO’s FPIC-360°  Tool helps address the challenges related to monitoring and verifying FPIC through embedding two key principles:
  • Participation: The FPIC-360° Tool is founded on the understanding that FPIC can only be implemented and monitored responsibly if the community has equal participation in, and ownership of, the process.
  • Transparency: In many cases, FPIC is something that happens to a community from the top-down. FPIC-360° Tool redresses this imbalance by facilitating data collection from both sides of the FPIC process and making it available for review and approval by the other stakeholders before being submitted for external verification.

The Tool format includes both high-level and granular indicators.

The star represents “FPIC” i.e. FPIC can only be verified if the Process is being carried out within the right Conditions and according to the Principles of FPIC – that’s what the auditor needs to assure.

In an FPIC process, the “how”, “when” and “with and by whom”, are as important as “what” is being proposed. For an FPIC process to be effective and result in consent or lack of it, the way in which the process is conducted is paramount. The time allocated for the discussions among the indigenous peoples, the cultural appropriateness of the way the information is conveyed, and the involvement of the whole community, including key groups like women, the elderly and the youth in the process, are all essential.

  • The credibility of the outcome is compromised if the process used to achieve it has not been conducted responsibly.
  • The framework that EO created is therefore focussed not just on the outcome of an FPIC process, but also looks at the process used to achieve that outcome, the conditions under which the process three elements – the Process, the Conditions under which is happens, and the Principles of FPIC – with FPIC in the center (the star):
    • PROCESS: The tool provides guidance on the steps than FPIC process should include and examples of evidence that can be used to verify it.
    • CONDITIONS: The tool provides guidance on the conditions that should be in place to ensure that the FPIC process happens in a responsible, equitable manner and how to verify them.
      • Conditions for the community
      • Conditions for the project develop
    • PRINCIPLES: The tool provides guidance on how to verify whether the process is following the principles of FPIC.

To break that down a little further, each Process Stage, Condition or Principle, outlines three things:

  • 1) The Expectation of the project developer, as distilled from our analysis of the Standards;
  • 2) The Action that the Project Developer should take to meet that Expectation, which the Verifier needs to verify and
  • 3) The Evidence that the auditor should seek, informed by community workshops.

The Structure: