The common thread between Harmattan's clients is an interest in achieving legitimate growth or development objectives in complex socio-political
environments where risk can be acute. This has given us experience with a variety of sectors, each with its own broad concerns:
- For private sector international businesses, the benefits of a direct emerging market presence are compelling, but companies need to consider
duty of care issues associated with relocating personnel to unstable environments, reputational challenges deriving from working within areas where
corruption, human rights abuses and conflict are not uncommon, and potential inhibitors to performance arising from an attenuation of control or gaps in
business continuity or access caused by unrest or political change. These concerns require a well rounded perspective of the risk environment and a
comprehensive risk management strategy.
- NGOs and transnational development organisations share many of the same issues as corporations, especially duty of care obligations, but are
less concerned about preserving physical assets on the ground, and more concerned about facilitating substantive changes in the attitudes and behaviour
of socio-political actors with a stake in the problem that the organisation is trying to address. Development actors need to be able to look after their own
people while maximising acceptance for their proposed changes within the host community and government.
- Governments also face socio-political risk, in their case as challenges to the constituent elements of the state (citizens, sovereignty and legitimate
institutions) as well their attractiveness to foreign investors. Governments need to be able to assess the risks to the nation-state, including and often
especially those which derive from weaknesses in governance and the social fabric, and understand and mitigate the perceived risk among the foreign
Resilience in complex emerging markets