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.
Resource-rich Latin American countries did experience high rates of economic growth and diminished poverty and inequality during the boom years. On the surface, this would appear to strengthen arguments that extractive industries are key to progress, especially in resource-rich areas, despite their negative environmental impact. Nevertheless, a closer look shows that things are a bit more complicated.
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.
Since 2013, the EITI Standard has “encouraged” public disclosure of contracts. And while it is difficult to attribute causality to policy change, since the release of the 2013 EITI Standard, nine new countries released contracts, and nine enacted laws that require contract disclosure.
It has been notoriously difficult for citizens in resource-rich countries to lay hands on extractive industry contracts and licenses between their governments and private sector extractive companies. But that seems to be changing.