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Natural Resources for Sustainable Development: The Fundamentals of Oil, Gas, and Mining Governance

5 February–13 May 2018

  • Event

  • Starting 9:00AM

  • Ending 5:00PM EDT

  • Online

Course summary

Natural Resources for Sustainable Development: The Fundamentals of Oil, Gas, and Mining Governance, a joint course by the Natural Resource Governance Institute, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment and the World Bank, gives students an understanding of the key challenges and opportunities that come with managing extractive industry investments for sustainable development.

When managed prudently, oil, gas, and mining investments and the vast revenues they generate can sustain development efforts and make a lasting positive impact on the life of citizens. However, without proper policies, frameworks, and oversight, these same investments have the potential to destabilize public financial management systems, bring negative environmental and social impacts, and increase the risk of corruption.

This course, which is offered twice a year, builds knowledge to make the most of oil, gas, and minerals, while mitigating the risks that these industries bring. It outlines the various complex and interrelated aspects of natural resource governance, including: understanding the governance and industry fundamentals; developing and implementing robust and transparent legal frameworks; designing fiscal regimes to capture a fair share of the revenues; managing environmental risks; engaging with communities; leveraging investments for infrastructure and business linkages; and managing revenues for economic diversification and development, among others.

By joining this course, you are also becoming part of a global movement of citizens and practitioners committed to harnessing the transformational impacts of these resources. The success of the course depends on an active student base that represents a diversity of experiences, geographies, and perspectives.

Course structure and requirements

The course is structured around a series of pre-recorded lectures, readings, quizzes, and discussion forums. These course components can be completed at a time that is convenient for the students, and most quizzes and timed activities are given a two-week window for completion. The material for each week is made available each Monday, and once the material has been opened, it remains open for the duration of the course. There are no written assignments for this course.

In addition to the recorded lectures, readings, and quizzes, the instructors and select visiting experts will hold several real-time discussions on Google Hangouts so that students can ask questions and engage directly with the instructors and leading practitioners working in this field. The exact dates of these discussions will be announced early in the course.

The estimated time commitment to complete all course components is 4-6 hours per week, though this depends heavily on the student and his/her objectives in taking the course.

Students who successfully complete the course will receive a digital certificate of completion, signed by the course organizers. In order to successfully complete the course, students must score an average of 70 percent or higher on the quizzes and final exam, all of which are multiple choice. Students who score 85 percent or higher will receive certificates of completion with distinction. While this course is not credit granting, we encourage students to work with their own institutions to explore the option of granting credit for online coursework.

If you have any additional questions on the course structure or requirements, please email the SDGAcademy Education Initiatives Team at [email protected]. For technical questions about the platform, please email, [email protected].

The course is offered in English, although transcripts of lectures are also available in French and Spanish.

Register here

Course Instructors
(in order of appearance) 

Lisa Sachs, Director, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment 
Patrick Heller, Advisor, Natural Resource Governance Institute
Jeffrey Sachs, University Professor, Columbia University and Director, Sustainable Development Solutions Network
Paul Collier, Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University
Alexandra Gillies, Advisor, Natural Resource Governance Institute
Daniel Kaufmann, President & CEO, Natural Resource Governance Institute
Mark Moody-Stuart, Chairman, Hermes Equity Ownership Services
Antonio Pedro, Director, UNECA Sub-Regional Office for Eastern Africa
Carole Nakhle, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Crystol Energy
Paulo de Sa, Practice Manager, Energy and Extractives Practice, World Bank
Lise Johnson, Head, Investment Law and Policy, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
Matthew Genasci, Founder, Mining Policy Group
Daniel Franks, Programme Manager, United Nations Development Programme
Saleem Ali, Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Energy and the Environment University of Delaware 
Deanna Kemp, Director, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, The University of Queensland
Cristina Villegas, Deputy Director, Mines to Markets, Pact
Mohammed Amin Adam, Deputy Minister of Energy, Ghana
Perrine Toledano, Head, Extractive Industries, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment
Cielo Magno, Assistant Professor, School of Economics, University of the Philippines
Anthony Paul, Principal Consultant, Association of Caribbean Energy Specialists
Michael Stanley, Sector Lead, Mining, World Bank
Håvard Halland, Economist, World Bank


Module 1: Challenges and opportunities
1.0 Introduction to the course
1.1 Short history of oil, gas, and mining
1.2 Challenges and opportunities of oil, gas, and mining
1.3 The decision chain of natural resource management (I)
1.4 The decision chain of natural resource management (II)

Module 2: Political economy of natural resources 
2.0 Introduction to Module 2
2.1 How natural resources shape and are shaped by political context
2.2 Corruption trends in the extractive sector
2.3 International governance initiatives
2.4 Natural resources and the broader governance framework
2.5 Transparency and accountability
2.6 (Optional) Towards evidence driven policy reform using the Resource Governance Index

Module 3: Fundamentals of oil, gas, and mining: industry considerations and policy implications
3.0 Introduction to Module 3
3.1 From oil well to car - market, players, and extraction process in oil
3.2 From mine to mobile phone - market, players, and extraction process in mining
3.3 How a company decides to invest in a project
3.4 The project development process
3.5 Evolving technology
3.6 (Optional) Fundamentals of energy and petroleum 

Module 4: Legal overview
4.0 Introduction to Module 4
4.1 Legal and regulatory frameworks for extractive industries
4.2 Allocation of rights
4.3 Implementation and monitoring of legal frameworks
4.4 International law and the extractive industries
4.5 State-owned enterprises: Role and governance
4.6 (Optional) Regional harmonization: Case studies from Africa

Module 5: Fiscal regime design and revenue collection
5.0 Introduction to Module 5
5.1 Resource economics and fiscal regime principles
5.2 Fiscal instruments I: Royalty/tax systems
5.3 Fiscal instruments II: Contract-based systems
5.4 Fiscal regime implementation

Module 6: Anticipating and managing environmental issues
6.0 Introduction to Module 6
6.1 Environmental challenges and trends: oil and gas
6.2 Environmental challenges and trends: mining
6.3 Managing environmental challenges
6.4 Extractives and climate change
6.5 Environmental impact assessments and environmental due diligence 

Module 7: Community rights
7.0 Introduction to Module 7
7.1 Social impact and engagement 
7.2 Human rights and the global mining industry
7.3 Mining and vulnerable populations 
7.4 Company-community agreements

Module 8: Artisanal mining
8.0 Introduction to Module 8
8.1 Introduction to artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM)
8.2 Challenges of ASM
8.3 ASM and gender 
8.4 Tensions between artisanal and large-scale mining
8.5 Key opportunities and the way forward

Module 9: Revenue management
9.0 Introduction to Module 9
9.1 Challenges of revenue management
9.2 Policy responses: savings, spending, public debt, and earmarking
9.3 Natural resource funds
9.4 Revenue sharing and decentralization

Module 10: Investing in sustainable development: Economic linkages to the extractives sector
10.0 Introduction to Module 10
10.1 Introduction to economic linkages
10.2 Local employment
10.3 Local procurement
10.4 Enabling technology transfer
10.5 Downstream linkages

Module 11: Investing in sustainable development: Looking beyond extractives
11.0 Introduction to Module 11
11.1 Investing in investing
11.2 Leveraging extractive industries for infrastructure
11.3 Resource-for-infrastructure deals
11.4 (Optional) Integrated spatial planning

Module 12: Cross-cutting considerations and looking ahead
12.0 Introduction to Module 12
12.1 Political tripod and authorizing environment
12.2 Engaging citizens
12.3 Aligning extractive industries with the Sustainable Development Goals
12.4 Course wrap-up