There’s ample evidence that natural resource extraction has gendered impacts.
From gender balance of people employed in extraction companies to environmental impacts, women tend to absorb more of the costs of extraction. They have less access to the benefits. At the Natural Resource Governance Institute and World Resources Institute, we suspect that even our organizations' resource governance responses, from fiscal rules to transparency standards, might have gendered impacts because of who has been able to participate, how information has been shared and what types of economic factors are prioritized.
That is why it is so surprising there are no gendered natural resource commitments in any Open Government Partnership National Action Plan.
The OGP community might be able to learn a lot from what is already happening at the national level. Innovators and gender champions in many resource-rich countries have already started creating policies to respond to some of the gendered challenges of managing natural resources. These can range from broad policy commitments in the Africa Mining Vision to detailed regulations in the Mexican rules for creating social and environmental impact assessments. Country level innovation has not yet been connected to global initiatives, making it difficult for interested change-makers to learn from what different countries have tried, as well as the impact of those policies.
NRGI, in partnership with the World Resources Institute, is excited to launch a research project generously funded by the OGP Multi-Donor Trust Fund. The project aims to gather and learn from these national practices to inform and support national OGP working groups. The research will include three phases:
Collect, analyze and share practice. Analyzing current gender and extractive policy practice will create a starting point of discussion on how countries are actually approaching gendered natural resource governance and provide practical options going forward.
Understand gaps between policy and implementation. We will focus on three to four countries to more deeply understand which actors must be involved and what types of policies drive implementation.
Leverage multiple networks for broader, more transformative change. We will gather key government, industry and civil society players to share experiences, and discuss how to leverage the OGP to better amplify national commitments and strengthen peer learning through webinars and knowledge tools.
This project provides a bridge between natural resource governance and gender communities inside and outside the OGP. We think this project is going to be most successful if we can be joined by civil society, institutions and government officials as we collect examples, discuss priorities and foster opportunities to influence and create exciting new reforms that meet the needs of everyone.
Rebecca Iwerks is the capacity development director at the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI). Elizabeth Moses is an associate with the Environmental Democracy Practice at the World Resources Institute (WRI).