Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

Free, Prior and Informed Consent' and Inclusion: Nussbaum, Ostrom, Sen and the Equator Principles Framework

Volume: 5
Number: 3
Pages: 464 - 488
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 2014

One of the key new elements of the third generation of the Equator Principles is stakeholder dialogue. It requires Equator Principles Financial Institutions' clients to engage in an ‘informed consultation and participation’ process. Project-affected communities—ie disadvantaged and vulnerable groups such as ethnic minorities (eg indigenous peoples) as well as civil society organisations and NGOs—have rights to information, consultation and active engagement in decision making in a ‘culturally appropriate manner’. The aim of stakeholder dialogue is to give ‘voice’ to locally affected communities (including NGOs and civil society organisations) and to reach ‘free, prior, and informed consent'—given that indigenous peoples are affected. These notions of inclusion and participation are also at the heart of the works of Ostrom, Nussbaum and Sen. This paper combines the multi-stakeholder approach of the Equator Principles with the capability approach (Sen/Nussbaum) and the commons approach (Ostrom), pointing at similarities and differences alike. It also points out necessary reform measures that need to be adopted in order to (further) strengthen the Equator Principles with regard to human rights protection and the inclusion of project-affected communities.