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sharing in governance of extractive industries

Natural resource governance - News round-up for June

A semi-regular round-up of some of the latest news re: the extractive sector and transparency. You can also read the post, with images and GIFs, here.

In case you missed it…

  • An investigation by Finance Uncovered revealed that money from the Malabu oil scandal (OPL 245) may have ended up in luxury property in Dubai.
  • Britain’s overseas territories have reacted strongly to recent legislation obliging them to create public registers of beneficial owners by the end of 2020. According to the Guardian, the new bill sparked “protests and calls for constitutional separation.”
  • The British government strongly endorsed the UK’s anti-corruption law that requires extractive companies to publish the payments they make to governments. Activists are calling for other governments in Europe – where similar reviews are underway – to do the same.
  • How many times have open governance folk had conversations about finding stories that make their issue less abstract, and more human? How many times have they struggled to find and package those stories? This report delves into the obstacles faced by TAI organisations in their quest for stories and proposes some experiments for the future.

Helping civil society make the most of EITI

The EITI provides civil society with a crucial opportunity to improve natural resource management. This isn’t just because EITI generates data about the extractive sector, but because civil society is a key actor in the EITI process as a whole. Through its involvement, civil society can help determine what type of information is divulged through EITI (for instance by advocating for the disclosure of environmental payments) and contribute to the recommendations made on the back of EITI reports. But while civil society has a seat at the EITI table, its influence is not predetermined. Civil society’s ability to shape the EITI process – and thus have an impact on natural resource governance – depends on its own participation, as well as its ability to operate freely. Factors at play include how well civil society can represent itself in the EITI governance bodies, and how it interprets the EITI process in view of its own advocacy goals. In order to help civil society make the most of EITI, Publish What You Pay has developed a four-chapter guide which will published throughout the year. The first chapter, already available, focuses on how to establish “credible and effective civil society representation on the national multi-stakeholder group.”

Welcome to the Republic of Petronia

The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) has launched an online game, doubling up as an interactive course, to help users learn about natural resource management. It’s a role-playing/simulation game, and your mission is to provide expert advice to help the government of Petronia manage its newly discovered oil wealth. This includes ensuring that the country negotiates a good deal and manages the revenues in a way that benefits its citizens. As you develop policy recommendations and negotiate council meetings, you learn about Dutch Disease, contract transparency, the resource curse and a plethora of other issues. The game has a nice balance of text, audio and animation as you move through the story, as well as different missions and – as in all the best games – a “briefcase” of tools that you pick up along the way.

While online games have been used in the transparency and accountability field to raise awareness or change behaviour, this is the first role-playing game for learning about natural resource management. It will be interesting to see its impact, as well as its implications for capacity building. Among which group of stakeholders (e.g., parliamentarians, civil society, students, journalists…) will it be most popular? Can it be replicated in other areas?

In the meantime, you can play the game here.

Job Opportunities

  • OpenOwnership is looking for a Product Owner
  • 'Wanted "Talented people who give a damn"' - check out the four vacancies at OpenCorporates
  • Global Witness is offering two paid internships : one to work in the IT Department and the other to support the Environmental Defenders Team.

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