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February 2015 News and Analysis from NRGI

  • News from NRGI

  • 18 February 2015

Lower oil prices, Latin American reforms amidst crisis and scandal, and thoughts on Azerbaijan’s status in EITI. NRGI's February roundup highlights these developments and more.

Key Highlights

Ten Consequences of Lower Commodity Prices for Resource-Rich Countries
In a post on the Financial Times BeyondBRICs blog, Thomas Lassourd and David Manley describe how governments in developing, resource-rich countries are struggling to manage expectations unmet by their oil and mineral sectors. Citizens are being impacted too.

NRGI Rated “Highly Transparent”
NRGI has received five stars from the watchdog group Transparify, indicating that NRGI is extremely open about the origins of its funding. Read more in the linked blog post by NRGI president Daniel Kaufmann.

The Time is Now for Addressing Resource Governance Challenges in Latin America
At a recent high-level seminar on governance in extractive industries, held in Chile, Daniel Kaufmann discussed the need to address resource governance challenges in Latin America. He argued that broader institutional reforms are key to complementing and translating transparency initiatives into the effective governance of natural resources.

Natural Resource Governance Institute Training Courses 2015
NRGI and its partners offer courses to civil society advocates, government officials, journalists and parliamentarians working toward improving the management of oil, gas and minerals. 2015 course offerings and videos from past participants are now available.

New Research and Analysis

Measuring Progress: Nigeria Natural Resource Charter Publishes Benchmarking Report
For the second time since 2012, NRGI partners in Nigeria have assessed the country’s performance against the 12 principles or “precepts” of good practice for transforming natural resources for development, as set out in the Natural Resource Charter. The findings of the 2014 benchmarking exercise were released in a new report.

Forecasting Ghana's Oil Revenues: What Open Fiscal Modeling Tells Us About the Budget Year Ahead
Falling oil prices have had dramatic effects on the solvency of highly oil-dependent countries, particularly those that have not saved much of their windfall receipts in boom years. A new NRGI oil revenue forecasting model examines Ghana's 2015 budget. Released under an open license, the tool can be edited, refined and updated as future events unfold in Ghana and the world.

Open Project Data Matters. Is How We Can Make It Useful.
As the movement towards open data in the extractive sector gathers steam, NRGI is building an open repository,, to pull, scrape, clean and organize a growing collection of information. A new Google group serves to engage and unite an entire community of data users.

Spotlight on Data

The prices of many commodity prices have fallen dramatically. NRGI experts analyze these figures and explore the implications in a post at BeyondBRICs.


VIDEO: NRGI's Daniel Kaufmann Speaks with Ghanaian MP Kwabena Donkor

VIDEO: NRGI's Thomas Lassourd Discusses Guinea's Mineral Wealth With Bloomberg TV


Nigeria's Election: A Referendum on Resource Governance?
Citizens have a collective responsibility to help deepen the roots of Nigeria’s democracy and strengthen oil and gas governance by remaining vigilant and engaged. To that end, proposals for solving the "resource curse" should be critical touchstones in Nigeria’s upcoming elections.

Improving Resource Governance: Some Fundamental Questions
Students from the Madeleine Albright Institute of Global Affairs at Wellesley College recently asked NRGI governance policy analyst Marie Lintzer some fundamental and important questions about the governance of the extractive sector. We share the informative Q&A here on NRGI’s blog.

Zambia Votes for a President, But What Will the Winner Do About Copper?
As Zambians go to the polls to choose their next president, a principal election issue has been how the copper-rich country taxes its mining industry. In his analysis, economist David Manley explores the implications of a dramatically reformed mining tax code in Zambia.

Philippines Local Governments Seek the Gold Standard in Transparency
The importance of gold in the Philippines cannot be overstated. However, lack of proper regulation and oversight threatens the ecosystem and the health of Filipinos, and creates a divisive environment at the local level. EITI takes a first step in addressing these issues.

Reversing the Crackdown: Will Azerbaijan's Early Validation Improve Conditions for EITI Stakeholders?
The early validation in Azerbaijan, where NGOs are under increasing government scrutiny, is the first in EITI’s history. Despite these limitations, EITI continues to play a role in keeping governments accountable to and collaborative with civil society.

Can Good Journalism Boost Natural Resource Sector Accountability? Q&A With Rayborn Bulley of Penplusbytes
As part of its effort to strengthen media oversight of the extractive sectors, NRGI recently organized a mentor-led field trip to the Ashanti Region, in Ghana. Press mentor Rayborn Bulley of Penplusbytes discussed the field trip and his views on journalism, activism and development.

Rhetoric or Reality? Communities Scrutinize Cameroon's Mining Governance Efforts
A noteworthy study from NRGI partner Réseau de Lutte contre la Faim combines EITI data and legal analysis to show the impact of mining projects on communities in northern Cameroon—where, despite 50 years of industrial extraction, social and economic development is lagging.

Alpine Ascent? A First Look at the Swiss Approach to Mandatory Payment Reporting Legislation
The Swiss government appears ready to join the ranks of countries that require their oil, gas and mining companies to disclose payments to foreign governments—but the country’s enormous commodity trading industry may not be covered by a new law.

Tapping Uganda's Oil Wealth for Citizens: Is Good Policy Enough?
New legislation and a national oil company are in place to regulate Uganda's nascent oil sector, but citizen engagement is also needed. A series of NRGI workshops aimed to give parliamentarians and civil society representatives knowledge and tools for managing petroleum revenues.

Journalists Turn the Spotlight on Extractives in Resurgent Myanmar
In December NRGI partnered with a team of trainers at the Yangon School of Journalism to launch the first dedicated, comprehensive course for journalists covering Myanmar's oil, gas, and mining industries. Meet the participants and learn more about NRGI's global flagship program, Strengthening Media Oversight of the Extractive Sectors.

In the News

FT This is Africa: Zambia copper disputes reflect wider unease in African mining
Voice of America: Lebanon's Oil Future Hinges on Transparency
Leadership: Nigerian Audit Speaks, Will Government Listen?
Executive: Not just a pipe dream: Using existing global standards, transparency in Lebanon’s oil and gas sector is possible
Sovereign Wealth Center: In Mexico, a New SWF Aims to Break With Legacy of Graft
The Guardian (Nigeria): APC, PDP unveil plans for oil sector
Office of the President of the Dominican Republic: NRGI’s Daniel Kaufmann Speaks in Santo Domingo About Corruption (Spanish)


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The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) helps people to realize the benefits of their countries’ endowments of oil, gas and minerals. We do this through technical advice, advocacy, applied research, policy analysis, and capacity development. We work with innovative agents of change within government ministries, civil society, the media, legislatures, the private sector, and international institutions to promote accountable and effective governance in the extractive industries. For more information, please see: