Responsible Business

CDA is widely recognized as a leader in the field of conflict sensitive business practice, corporate respect for human rights, and human security safeguards in and around corporate operations.

CDA works with individual companies, international organizations, UN agencies, governments, and industry associations on a broad range of issues relating to conflict risks and operational impacts, including stakeholder and community engagement, social investment, local content, and negotiation and compensation.

We advise companies about how to achieve socially responsible operations and effective approaches to incorporate conflict-sensitivity and human rights considerations in and across their business operations.

CDA produces practical guidance and tools to support corporate managers in planning and decision making. CDA cooperates with colleagues in individual companies, industry associations, international organizations, such as the UN Global Compact, and emerging market enterprises such as Chinese business entities operating internationally.

What Our Partners Say

Manager, Community Relations (Africa)

“Consistently, stakeholders appreciated that the affiliate invited the CDA team to conduct an assessment prior to starting its operations. Civil society groups said this was the first time they had been asked for their opinions about incoming foreign investment. Civil Society groups responded positively to the fact that we invited CDA prior to the start of activities and saw this as an acknowledgement of the importance of the social aspects of oil exploration.”

Manager, Community Relations (Africa)


Director, Investor Relations: Oil & Gas (Europe)

“For investors relations, the fact that our company works with CDA on such types of missions has obviously had a benefit for the company.”

Director, Investor Relations: Oil & Gas (Europe)

Manager, Community Relations: Oil & Gas (Africa)

“The follow-up recommendations [from the CDA report] were really practical. Really hands-on, practical review and advice on the plans that were being putting in place.”

– Manager, Community Relations: Oil & Gas (Africa)

Director, External Relations: Oil & Gas (Latin America)

“I was surprised how accurate and still up to date the report is, even though 3 years have now passed. The “options” section of the report gave concrete ideas of things to put in place. After more than 2 years, it surprised me how the reports still sticks to reality. The analysis was very precise and you really understood all the challenges and the concerns and difficulties of the social context, without any bias or preconceptions. The analysis was objective.”

– Director, External Relations: Oil & Gas (Latin America)

General Manager: Oil & Gas (Latin America)

“We found it very useful. It was an honest report – acknowledging things that we were doing right, written in good faith. Sometimes we get biased opinions, but not this time. My view is that there is a lot at stake in social issues – money, reputation, image, and sometimes staff are personally attacked and threatened. We thought our processes were good, but we wanted independent verification.”

– General Manager: Oil & Gas (Latin America)

core questions

How can companies know and show their due diligence measures are maximizing positive effects and minimizing negative impacts on communities where they operate?

How can companies gain and sustain a social license to operate in the most difficult operational environments?

What are effective roles for business entities in promoting peace?

How can companies promote human security and reduce risks to themselves and their stakeholders when they operate in the presence of armed non-state actors, such as rebel groups and militias?

CDA’s work on responsible business practice began in 2000 with the launch of the Corporate Engagement Program. The Corporate Engagement Program conducted more than 40 site assessments with more than 60 companies in 25 countries. The resulting lessons are presented in Getting It Right: Making Corporate-Community Relations Work.

Featured Projects


CDA provides services to companies, industry associations, and international organizations.  Ask us how we can customize our resources and expertise to help you improve your responsible business practice.