Political parties can help ensure that their country gets the best deal for the extraction of its resources, manages revenues for the long-term best interests of citizens and avoids the resource curse.
Yan Naung Oak is a 2017 School of Data fellow for NRGI Myanmar working on data literacy and data availability in the jade mining sector. Last year, he participated in NRGI's massive online open course, Natural Resources for Sustainable Development: The Fundamentals of Oil, Gas, and Mining Governance. These are his takeaways.
NRGI offers global and regional courses (both in-person and online) that are tailored to civil society advocates, government officials, journalists, parliamentarians and other actors who are working to improve the management of oil, gas and minerals.
Resource-rich countries tend to experience slower economic growth and more social problems than do less-endowed countries—a phenomenon dubbed the “resource curse.” But it turns out that in many cases, economic growth begins to underperform long before the first drop of oil is produced; this we call the “presource curse.”
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.