Catherine is a social scientist with expertise in social risk and performance management, strategic assessment, social impact assessment, stakeholder relations, and political risk assessment.
She has an analytical and critical knowledge of the risks and challenges confronting organizations operating in challenging environments, including in Africa, East Asia and Australia.
In her capacity as a Socio-Economic Development Advisor at Sustainability, she has worked with mining, infrastructure, and oil and gas companies, international financial institutions, NGOs and governments in the preparation of strategic environmental and social assessments, social impact assessments, due diligence reports, social closure plans, corporate social responsibility strategy, stakeholder engagement, resettlement planning, social and reputational risk management, operational readiness, and safety risk management.
- Socio-Economic Development Advisor, Sustainability Pty Ltd, 2011 – present
- External Consultant, Consultancy Africa Intelligence, Perth, 2010 – 2011
- Intern, South African Institute of International Affairs, Governance of Africa’s Resources Programme, Cape Town, 2009
- Master of Arts in International Political Economy and Conflict Dynamics, Cum Laude, International Peace Research Institute, Oslo in partnership with the University of Stellenbosch
- Bachelor of Arts in Value and Policy Studies, University of Stellenbosch
- Advanced Stakeholder Engagement Course, Twyfords
- Cambridge University Sustainability Leadership Programme, Cambridge University
- Australia Africa Mining Industry Group
CORE SKILLS AND EXPERTISE
Catherine’s qualifications and experience have allowed her to develop a strong skills base, including:
- Providing guidance to management on short and long term strategies in all aspects of external relations – social risks, community engagement, institutional opportunities, NGO’s, and cultural interface.
- Stakeholder analysis, engagement and consultation.
- Social impact assessment.
- Social baseline studies;
- Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment at the country / sector level.
- Developing community development initiatives and Corporate Social Responsibility program.
- Consulting, communicating and managing stakeholders to build strong working relationships at all levels of business.
- Developing strategies for operating in conflict and post-conflict countries.
- Developing Resettlement Action Plans for projects.
- Social closure risk and impact assessment.
- Conducting market entry research and social due diligence.
- Tender development and management of tender processes.
MAJOR PROJECTS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
Social Impact Assessment, Centerra Gold, Mongolia, 2015: Let team member for the SIA conducted to EBRD Performance Requirements for financing purposes. Tasks included in-country coordination of social baseline study, client liaison, social data analysis and baseline reporting.
Strategic Environmental and Social Assessment of the Mining Sector in Mongolia, Ministry of Mining, Mongolia, in Cooperation with the World Bank, 2013 – 2014: Key member of Sustainability’s SESA team – research, reporting development, stakeholder engagement. The SESA aimed to provide guidance to the Mongolian Government and feed directly into Government policy on the long-term direction and sustainability of the mining industry in Mongolia.
Compliance Assessment of the Shah Deniz Stage 2 Project Environmental and Social Impact Assessment against International Performance Standards, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Azerbaijan, 2014: Development of compliance assessment tools, and conduct of the social aspects of the assessment. The Shah Deniz Stage 2 development is one of the largest offshore gas developments globally and is operated by BP.
Gap Assessment Against IFC Performance Standards of the Atlas Tin Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, Kasbah Resources, Morocco, 2014: Responsible for the assessment of the social aspects of the ESIA against international standards.
Social Closure Risk and Impact Assessment, Centerra Gold, Mongolia, 2014: The project provided Centerra with a detailed understanding of social risks associated with mine closure and the social impacts of closure on communities and the local economy, amongst others. The assessment facilitated proactive closure planning. Tasks included document review, drafting of research program and engagement tools, preparation of risk assessment framework, and risk assessment.
Social Baseline Study and Social Performance Benchmarking, Areva Mongol, Mongolia, 2013-2013: Worked with the local team on baseline study development and review; Local consultant supervision; Quality control of client deliverables; Conduct of a benchmarking survey among community relations practitioners in Mongolia.
Environmental and Social Audit and Management Plans, Ministry of Finance, Zimbabwe and the African Development Bank, 2013: Key coordinator of the successful tender bid for the Emergency Power Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project – Environmental and Social Audit and Environmental Management Plan Project. Assisted in the development of audit plans in collaboration with local consultants. Reviewed local consultant outputs and provided direction as to the content of audit reports findings.
Social Baseline Planning and Stakeholder Engagement, Northern Railways, Mongolia, 2012 – 2013: Preparation of social aspects of an international standard baseline for a 600km proposed rail corridor. Needs Assessment of Mongolian Civil Society Organisations for the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation, Mongolia 2013: Key team member, responsible for the analysis of survey findings and report development.
Social Risk Analysis, Aspire Mining, Mongolia, 2012: Analysis of current social risks.
Stakeholder Engagement Planning: Karara Mining, Australia, 2012 – 2013: Development of a Stakeholder Engagement Plan for the Company’s Western Australian operations.
Resettlement Action Plan, Terra Energy, Mongolia, 2012-2013. Preparation of a Resettlement Action Plan and assistance in its implementation.
Operational Readiness Assistance, BHP Billiton Iron Ore, Jimblebar Project, 2012: Embedded placement to assist the mining engineering team in preparation for mine operation at the greenfields Jimblebar Project in 2012.
Embedded placement, BHP Billiton Iron Ore, Perth Corporate Head Office, 2011: Worked with management on the branding aspects associated with the 2011 acquisition and transition of HWE Mining to BHPB.
Author of Industry-specific Political Security Risk Analysis for Humanitarian Organisations in Conflict Zones published in the Strategic Review of Southern Africa, November 2011 edition.
Extended Research Project, US Open Source Centre (Pretoria Mission), South Africa, 2010: Research project on the state of ethnic relations and the potential for social unrest / ethnic conflict in Southern Africa.
- English (native); Afrikaans (fluent); Xhosa (intermediate).