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sharing in governance of extractive industries

Information Management Systems: A Powerful Tool to Help Fight Corruption

I recently attended the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada in Toronto and after sharing a few conversations with colleagues who are working in Africa, I was unpleasantly surprised to learn that corruption was on the rise. Of course, corruption has been and still is a threat to economic development in many countries. I guess my disappointment lies more into its recent increase in countries where our clients operate.

When Corruption Gets in the Way of Operations

It’s not news to anyone, data management is very sensitive and closely tied to corruption. Actually, my colleague François addressed this issue more in depth a couple years back. With this article, I’d like to share one of our first-hand experience with corruption while working with a client.

The client was based in Sub-Saharan Africa and using our data management software (or information management system) to track and monitor its land access activities. Things were going well and the system proved to be a tremendous tool to manage all the compensation and resettlement information. But at some point, there was a shift in the behavior of some staff members, who became reluctant to use our software. The project team nearly stopped using the system altogether.

We were quite puzzled as of why this was happening. Turns out the underlying issue was that the Boréalis Application made all the information available and traceable, thus refraining some staff members from milking the compensation funds to make more money. Transparency in data management prevented ...

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