James Henry

Social Performance Adviser

James Henry has 25 years experience working with international humanitarian and development organisations, to Chief Executive level, and both at headquarters and in the field. He also has extensive work and consultancy experience of organisational structure and strategy, programme management, fundraising and donor relations, HR management, and assessment and evaluation.

For the last 8 years, James has advised a major international oil and gas company on social performance, covering all aspects of interaction with communities and national and international stakeholders, including development activities, conflict, environmental issues, critical reports and campaigns.

The majority of this work was related to Nigeria, which provides a particularly complex mix of social, economic, political and environmental challenges. More recently, much of the work has involved the development, and promotion, of innovative commercially based solutions to environmental and social challenges, in such a way that maximum benefit is gained by communities through access to safe and sustainable livelihoods.

James is a fervent believer in the potential, and the opportunity, to create positive space for constructive dialogue, and thereby to promote change for the betterment of all parties (and especially local communities), and to catalyse change within companies’ own policy and practice.

Key to creating space for change is the necessity for the private sector and external stakeholders to have a much closer understanding of each other’s legal and operational frameworks, their operational policy and practice, and even the language that they use. James has worked closely with many NGOs and other stakeholders, and also with companies, to create greater understanding of each other, the potential for engagement, and the potential triggers for change.