The three core functions of Parliament–-representing constituent interests, legislating, and overseeing the executive branch–-are crucial along the entire extractive industries value chain. Legislators are responsible for ensuring that policy and regulatory frameworks regarding extractive industries benefit the population, and they can make sure that government agencies appropriately allocate and account for revenues. However, because of capacity constraints, and a lack of strong analytical backgrounds, high quality policy analysis and proper parliamentary oversight is sometimes difficult. Luckily there are several practical guiding principles that can help boost transparency, accountability and social and economic development in a resource-rich setting.
It is a huge challenge to turn natural resource wealth into a blessing and make the sector contribute to sustainable development. Policy makers have many choices to make, from the speed of the extraction path, ways to deal with the volatility and uncertainty of revenues, prevention of environmental damage, to avoiding social conflict. Decisions with inter-generational consequences have to be made in great uncertainty. In the absence of strong government institutions that are transparent and accountable to citizens, resource revenues are often managed ineffectively. Natural resource rents should be used to serve the benefit of all citizens, within the framework of a country’s long-term development goals.
This course will explain the elements of the resource curse, what measures can be taken to combat it, and how parliamentarians can play an important role in doing so. The course will address the link between extractive industries and economic and financial management, revenues, expenditures and the budget, environmental and sustainable development, poverty reduction and community development, including transparency and accountability mechanisms.
At the end of this course participants will be able to identify strengths and weaknesses in government’s extractive industries policy and how to make the extractive industries sector more developmentally oriented. By reviewing good practices in the extractive industries sector, participants will be able to better understand and analyze the costs and benefits of mining policy outcomes, their effect on stability, growth and on the budget. Participants will know how to enhance benefits and mitigate the risks related to the extractive industries sector, and can therefore oversee the executive more effectively. Participants can have a more informed debate about extractive industries issues. Participants will know how to enhance transparency and accountability related to the use of revenues and licensing, and they will know how to effectively participate in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
The course will take approximately 6 weeks and will start in the first week of March. The course includes weekly learning materials, discussions and questions.
You can apply and download the course material at www.parliamentarystrengthening.org