Civil society actors fighting for better resource governance must engage with reformers in government and business and speak “truth to power” with those parties hampering progress, NRGI president and CEO Daniel Kaufmann tells RAW Talks.
NRGI set out to collect total oil, gas and mining revenue data for the countries included in the Resource Governance Index to find out how many dollars flow to governments that mismanage the handling of their natural resources.
Sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) can be effective tools for managing natural resource revenues. However, as their numbers continue to grow, with the largest funds managing hundreds of billions or even a trillion dollars in assets, researchers are paying more attention to how well these funds are governed.
A 10-year boom in the prices of many commodities drew to a close last year. During previous booms, governments in developing countries have often squandered wealth accumulated through oil, gas and minerals, directing little of the proceeds toward effective investment or saving. When boom turned to bust, resource-rich countries were caught out, forced into debt spirals.
In most countries, national governments negotiate extraction contracts with companies and collect the revenues, but it is those closest to the extraction site that see their physical and economic landscape change most dramatically.