Governance for Extractive Industries
With regular new oil and mineral discoveries, the importance of extractive industries continues to grow globally. These resources can be a path to prosperity but also pose significant risks associated with the so-called “resource curse”. To meet the clear governance challenges innovative and collaborative approaches are needed.
The World Bank Institute’s (WBI) Governance for Extractive Industries program connects stakeholders to work towards greater accountability of the extractives sector.
The program builds collective capacity to monitor oil, gas and mining agreements. These are often cloaked in secrecy. Misunderstanding of their content, and mistrust amongst the different stakeholders can lead to tensions at the community and national level. Millions of dollars are lost in tax revenues every year because of inadequate monitoring, and effects of extractive industries operations are often neither effectively tracked nor mitigated.
The initiative has brought together champions from the private sector, government, media and civil society to work towards more responsible contracting. Most of these individuals met for the first time with WBI’s help and formed multi-stakeholder coalitions to improve contract monitoring in their countries. The coalitions meet regularly and have put together action plans which are soon turning into reality.
In Ghana, where petroleum contracts have recently been released to the public, the coalition has been able to include procurement and contract monitoring in the agenda of Public Accounts Committees and Auditors General in West Africa through their official bodies. Ghana’s Auditor General is now choosing two contracts for further evaluation. A new interactive WBI online map, piloted in Ghana, is increasing understanding of the extractives operations and links to development impacts.
WBI and its partners are developing tools to build understanding of transparency and accountability dimensions, of the content of extractives agreements, where and how to get access to relevant information and how to set up participatory and multi-stakeholder monitoring processes.
In support of this effort and the broader good governance objectives for the sector, WBI has facilitated creation of a vibrant global practitioner network on governance for extractive industries that is connected via an online social platform – GOXI.