Reos Partners are working with the World Bank Institute (WBI) on an ongoing project that is focused on improving governance and accountability of the extractive industries (e.g. oil, gas and mining sectors) in Africa. It is well understood that poor governance and corruption undermine the delivery of public goods and services to citizens, and that the poorest communities are the most vulnerable. In fact, more than 250 million Africans live in countries where natural resources account for more than 80% of exports, so developing national and regional approaches to improving transparency and accountability is of critical importance.
Reos Partners have been working with the WBI team (and the African Development Bank in specific cases) over the last 12 months to achieve three inter-related objectives:
1) Facilitate the building of strong cross-sectoral coalitions in several countries in West Africa (Liberia, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Nigeria) as well as a regional network that will be able to better understand the complexities of the industry, the needs of the country and in-turn demand greater accountability from both the government and private sectors.
2) Design, develop and test a coherent strategy and approach for the WBI to facilitate and support these coalitions as they implement initiatives within their specific country contexts.
3) Improve the internal coherence of the World Bank Group (WBG) in its approach to improving governance and accountability in the extractive industry projects, where the WBG is a major stakeholder.
The initial input for the work was a series of international dialogues with stakeholders where key opportunities were identified. Based on this input Reos facilitated the development of a emergent strategy with the WBI team.
The first phase was to indentify several high-leverage streams of activity that would provide input and insight and then subsequently review and develop approaches for the second phase. The key activities of the first phase included the development of an online collaboration space (www.extractiveindustries.ning.com) that was launched in conjunction with a 3-day multi-stakeholder dialogue entitled “Getting a Good Deal for Africa”. The content was focused on the first part of the EI value-chain and was designed to both develop potential opportunities for collaboration as well as begin to build a strong practitioner network.
One of the key opportunities for collaboration identified during the dialogue was the potential to develop a global cross-sector coalition to support “Contract Monitoring” (the award and implementation of contracts) in the Extractive Industries.
This work has become one of the new foundational elements in second phase and has developed into two parallel streams of activity. The first is an initiative to bring together practitioners (oils, gas and mining companies, service providers, academics, international NGO, multilateral agencies etc…), research and case studies at the international level to begin to create awareness and coherent thinking and messaging about the topic. The complement to this is the development and support of coalitions in several countries that are actively working on piloting opportunities to monitor the award and implementation of contracts.
In addition to the work focused on engaging stakeholders external to the WBG, Reos Partners has been supporting the design and deliver of an internal WBG process to create greater alignment and coherence in how the organization thinks about, and works with the issue of governance and accountability in it’s EI related projects.