sharing in governance of extractive industries

A New Approach to Extractive Development - NetPositive shakes things up with latest research

NetPositive is a non-profit organisation working on collaborative research and problem-solving. We work with a diverse group of stakeholders to collectively change the approach to extractive development in order to increase the likelihood that communities will see sustained positive outcomes from mining and oil and gas.

We are very excited to share the results of our first global collaborative research project, Getting to NetPositive: A New Approach to Extractive Development.

NetPositive conducted extensive research to develop an evidence-based understanding of how mining and oil and gas development can support sustained positive outcomes for local communities. The project included 150 dialogue-based interviews with representatives from communities, extractive companies, various levels of government, civil society, academics, and service providers around the world.

Our research finds that if we want local communities to see long-lasting benefit and positive social change from extractive development, a new approach is needed.  Continuing as before will not cut it. If extractive development is to bring sustained positive outcomes to local communities, a systemic step change is needed.

This approach must focus on 5 core elements.

  1. Treat communities as legitimate, equal partners in extractive development
  2. Build strong partnerships among communities, companies, and governments
  3. Create a clear vision and define outcomes
  4. Make decisions in a systematic and transparent manner
  5. Manage tensions between worldviews  


These five elements are not new. Stakeholders that have been working towards sustained positive outcomes for local communities will not be surprised that the research highlighted these elements. However, they are not consistently and collectively implemented in a way that effectively leads to sustained positive outcomes for local communities. To achieve sustained positive social outcomes, the approach to extractive development must focus on these fundamentals.

We invite you to take a look through the report and would love your feedback and thoughts. We are also available to review and discuss the findings in more detail. Just let us know if you’re interested by emailing Jane at jane@netpositivenr.org.

Moving forward we’ll be exploring these five elements in more depth, both at a local level in communities near to extractive developments and by focusing on specific elements to identify practical ways to improve practice.

We’ll also be at the PDAC Convention in Toronto on March 7  sharing the early results of our latest project which explores how social factors are built into financial valuations in the mining sector. This is our first deep-dive into one aspect of Element 4: make decisions in a systematic and transparent manner. If you are attending the convention, we encourage you to join us on Wednesday, March 7!


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