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Surprised #WorldBankInstitute survey shows positive views of oil industry community impacts. Anyone hv diff. survey results?

Public Perceptions Survey on Extractive Industries

The survey was conducted in Jan 2014 in 10 countries and shows positive perceptions of the oil and gas industry's impact in terms of jobs, community development, on their country generally. The only negative perceptions are regarding environmental impacts and lack of information about the industry. 

I am surprised by these positive perceptions of community impacts. Does anyone have contradictory survey results to show? I think part of the answer lies in the fact that the survey was conducted during the high prices era, but even so I expected it would show a level of dissatisfaction related to job creation. 

Thanks for your views, 

Valerie

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Hi Valerie,

I think another reason beyond the one you cite for largely positive views on community impact is that this type of survey reaches those with internet connectivity: predominantly urban, more educated. They are probably more likely to benefit from oil sector jobs and less likely to be adversely hit by social impact.

See Ian Gary`s post on this problem: 

http://politicsofpoverty.oxfamamerica.org/2014/04/bizarre-methodolo...

Thanks David!
That really explains it! That methodology seems very flawed. The results don't really reflect the stakeholders' views basically...

Thanks for flagging this, Valerie. I had a poke out of interest. It seemed odd to me at face value that the World Bank would use methodology or method which could be so easily dismissed in a headline as bizarre

I got an early clue at the very start here, which reads: 

"The responses are limited to those with internet access, typically a more urban public (for a country with low web penetration, most respondents may be concentrated
in the capital city). As such, the findings cannot be taken as representative of communities surrounding mining or oil/gas development – populations for which other survey methodologies are far more appropriate. This limitation was recognized in design". 

Indeed, the methodology description at your link seems perfectly coherent. The people targeted are described clearly and the results can be read in that context and inferences drawn, insofar as they may be, without confusion about what the research sought to achieve and what it didn't.  

On closer inspection, the Ian Gary piece does what tabloid newspapers in the UK do. It starts with an emotive and condemnatory word ('bizarre') then goes on to condemn a methodology for something accounted for by the researchers at the very beginning of their methodology description. It seems to be Gary who introduces the confusion. Why, I couldn't say. 

eric

That's a fair point and clearly the WB knew what kind of sample of respondents they were getting.

But does leave us wondering why adopt this methodology with the knowledge that it provided very little useful information.

Hi Valerie,

This is a good observation. Why would the World Bank conduct such a weak survey with problematic methodology? The very best account of the oil industry must come from people at the national and subnational levels. And of course this survey do not consider this nuances.

The stories are different for communities that are experiencing onshore (e.g. Nigeria) and offshore (e.g. Ghana) oil operations. Common in all these countries is the fact that oil tend to distort their natural livelihoods (i.e. farming, fishing, etc), though it generates huge revenues for governments. This ought be given the limelight.

Best,

Stephen

Thanks Stephen. Those are important distinctions regarding onshore/offshore and communities. What I was looking for when I found this survey was an analysis of community views of the oil and gas industry. I was expecting to find dissatisfaction about job creation and economic impact - especially in emerging producers where expectations about windfalls were so high. But I haven't really found good surveys of communities...

ICMM has published a toolkit to help mining companies understand the factors that influence community support and measure the level of community support at a particular project or operation. The toolkit takes the companies through the steps required to assess diverging perceptions between company & community and address these.

This would be fantastic initiative for the oil and gas sector...

http://www.icmm.com/document/9670

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