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Watch the Video "Falling Commodity Prices, Rising Tensions" Featuring Sir Paul Collier and NRGI President Daniel Kaufmann

Cheap oil: Who are the winners and losers in Africa?” “Oil slump to help Indonesian President Widodo in subsidy cut.” “Nigeria lowers petrol price as elections near.”

These headlines informed a public panel that took place on Monday, April 13, at 5:30pm CET, at Central European University. It featured NRGI President Daniel Kaufmann and Sir Paul Collier of the University of Oxford's Blavatnik School of Government. The event, titled “Falling Commodity Prices, Rising Tensions: Have Countries Learned From the Past to Navigate the Future?” addressed the dramatic fall in the value of oil and other commodities over the past six months, and how governments and communities can learn from their experiences in past episodes of price crashes.

The panel is the public-facing portion of a much longer classroom-based experience. From 13 to 24 April 2015, participants gathered in Budapest for the third annual two-week advanced course jointly organized by the Central European University (CEU) School of Public Policy and the Natural Resource Governance Institute – “Reversing the Resource Curse.” The course aimed to develop greater expertise among representatives of national civil society organizations, media, parliaments, government ministries, international NGOs and OECD donor countries. Having participated in the course, they will be better equipped to develop policy analysis on oil, gas and mining issues; manage the sector in their home countries; and develop university curricula.

This year the course has attracted over 200 applications, with a final list of 64 participants from 24 countries—including those where the aforementioned events have unfolded. Bringing different parties together in this way helps open up new channels of communication between the different stakeholder groups.

The course offered practical lessons for policy improvement based on best practices from across the globe, targeting individuals already engaged in the management and oversight of extractive industries. Relying on the framework provided by the Natural Resource Charter and focusing on rigorous analysis and advanced fiscal modeling techniques, the course was designed for individuals who seek to enhance their knowledge and skills in order to play a more prominent role in developing, monitoring and evaluating the mineral and petroleum sectors in their countries and across the globe.

All participants attended sessions on the political economy of policymaking in resource-rich states and a basic overview of all policy issues, followed by one of two “paths”: one focused on designing and evaluating fiscal regimes, and the other on distributing, managing, and spending resource revenues.

Helen Dempsey is NRGI’s capacity development associate.

Please note that this event has now concluded. You can review the discussion in the video above or as documented on Twitter.

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