Robert Cole
Senior Associate
Canada-based. Expert in stakeholder dialogue, Indigenous Peoples, and social due diligence (former Senior Social Development Specialist, World Bank).

Robert Cole has over 15 years experience with social development, stakeholder engagement and dispute resolution. He spent the last five years in the Development Finance sector as a Senior Social Development Specialist at the World Bank and previously in a similar role for the EBRD, prior to which he was a social management consultant.

Robert has worked extensively in Canada and Sub-Saharan Africa on SIA, social due diligence, stakeholder engagement and involuntary resettlement, including 4-years leading the development of a SIA and preparing social management plans (including a Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) and Stakeholder Engagement Plan (Plan) for a major IFC-financed bauxite mining project in Guinea. During his time at the World Bank, Robert worked in the Regional Safeguards Advisory for Eastern and Southern Africa providing social safeguards oversight for francophone countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, Madagascar and the Comoros Islands.

This work involved oversight of the application of Social Safeguards requirements on projects in the renewable energy, mining, transport and industrial sectors. Prior to this, he worked for over 10 years for a consulting firm in Montreal leading a small social consulting practice focused on SIA and social impact management. He now works as a freelance consultant on projects related to stakeholder engagement, Indigenous People, involuntary resettlement, social due-diligence and oversight.

He is an IAF Certified Professional Facilitator and CEDR Accredited Mediator and has worked across Sub-Saharan Africa (Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Madagascar), North Africa, the Caucasus, Northern Canada, as well as Eastern Europe. Robert speaks English, French and Spanish. He holds a BA in Economics from McGill University in Montral and a MBA from HEC Montral.

Areas of Expertise
  • Working with Indigenous People in development projects
  • Structuring projects to meet IFI social safeguards requirements
  • Training and capacity-building on social risk management.
  • Resettlement planning and monitoring