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Residential Component Bolsters Annual Resource Governance Training in Eurasia

Responsive and comprehensive resource governance outcomes depend on the details of well-formed policies. These policies are written by mid-career government officials, senior parliamentary staff, specialized civil society actors, academic researchers, or specialists at international development agencies—exactly the sort of people NRGI and partners target for regional trainings.

To equip these policy-makers and individuals with necessary skills and knowledge, the pilot phase of the Eurasia Extractive Industries Knowledge Hub last year featured an on-campus residential phase component of a blended learning course, bookended by an online learning module and a final assignment.

Applications are being accepted through 10 April for this year's iteration of the course. The 2018 course—which is wholly supported by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs—will feature the same blended structure.

Last year, more than 100 participants took part in the online, introductory course on the natural resource decision chain, saving instruction time during the nine-day residential module. Lectures helped hub staff identify the most dedicated and eligible candidates for the residential phase.

Shortsighted approaches offering quick-fix solutions to complex economic challenges in post-Soviet Eurasia make efficient and accountable resource governance elusive. This dynamic points to a knowledge gap among critical decision-makers.

Nail Valiyev from the Asian Development Bank’s Azerbaijan office said the course’s content and focus is essential for Eurasian countries.

“Efficient management of natural resources is particularly important for emergent economies with less capacity, less experience,” Valiyev said.

The residential phase at Khazar University in Baku, Azerbaijan in November and December hosted 22 students and highlighted longer-term planning and impact-driven decision-making, as well as in-depth revenue management training.

It explored successful macroeconomic models, with a focus on fiscal and monetary tools that could help to enhance sustainability in Eurasia.

The residential segment backed up training and theory with practical exercises, helping to apply gained knowledge to the real world cases. Participants closely discussed and parsed challenges and successes in their respective countries. This exchange was particularly useful to Irina Lupashko, of Ukraine’s Dixi Group.

“The course provided a complex vision of the revenue management process, going behind commonly known concepts such as taxation,” Lupashko said. “I feel like I have a comprehensive picture of the natural resource decision chain and understand policy-making process.”

Irina Komarida, a legal assistant in the energy and fuel committee of the Ukrainian parliament, said other countries’ experiences would inform her approach to a revenue sharing law at home.

“Discussions with other participants and analysis of case studies from other countries assured me that we have to intensify implementation of the law,” Komarida said.

Nazaket Azimli is a development manager at the Eurasia Extractive Industries Knowledge Hub, which is supported by the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI).