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Revenue transparency is well connected to contract disclosure and open budgeting.  Just a few days ago Michael Lipsky wrote in the Huffington  Post an article on Improving Governance Through Budget Transparency and raises the question- do countries "use revenues raised from oil, gas, mining and other natural resource extractions for high national priorities?"  And recognizes a new wave of government-led initiatives and people-led activism that is shifting the discussion about the openness and accountability of decisions that determine a country's social and economic trajectory.

Revenue Watch was mentioned as one of the international organizations that has pushed forward good governance in the extractives industry.

As we recognize the importance of transparency initiatives and need for more empirical evidence on how transparency related initiatives impact development outcomes, we may want to think about how we can join efforts of existing initiatives or called them movements such as EITI, open budgeting, contract monitoring, etc that seem to be trying to achieve similar development outcomes.

Also see Declaration on Budget Transparency, Accountability and Participation

Eva,  I agree with you whole heartedly on the research need for more empirical evidence of how transparency translates (or not) into development outcomes.  It surprises me that this has not already been done - a problem not limited to this sector alone.  We had a review meeting yesterday for a cross cutting proposal to promote more transparency in public contracting and the same concerns were raised as to whether you can extrapolate from disclosure of contract information to better contracting outcomes and then better service delivery/development outcomes. This is an area ripe for proper investigation.  It is encouraging that the Transparency and Accountability Initiative put a recent request for proposals our on just these issues - unfortunately extractive industries were not included as a sector of interest for the studies. 

Thanks for your comment.  I'm not totally convinced that there are indicators that connect transparency to sustainable development outcomes.  The only chain that I can immediately see is: transparency connected to revenue management (good spending policy, various kinds of funds) and improvements in health and education, for example, as result of the investments made.  But I think it's really, really tenuous and indirect at best.

I think your call for research into the connection between transparency efforts in the extractives and development outcomes is well-founded, and clearly a difficult task. Transparency can be seen broadly as a principle of governing, a mindset, or it can be seen more narrowly as a set of actions or requirements. While we might really care about measuring the effect a culture of transparency has on development, maybe we start by analyzing the more tangible acts of disclosure. There's the risk of missing subtle effects at the start, but at least we start to find out what variables and indicators are available. Any ideas on what the indicators would look like that specifically connect transparency acts to development outcomes?