Campaign launch - national and global advocacy for tax funded social protection
The resource governance programme aims for women and men to benefit from public resources through accountable governance for equitable distribution of wealth and sustainable development. The programme works to influence public plans and budgets to have a greater pro-poor focus, and to hold duty bearers accountable to implementing them according to plan. In countries where NCA works, high levels of corruption, coupled with lack of participatory and accountable governance hinders equitable distribution of resources, while inadequate policies and poor implementation and control of existing legal frameworks are obstacles to effective governance over extractive industries. Rights-holders do not have the information, voice and practical engagement strategies they need to influence the governance of public resources, and the absence of consultation with affected populations restrain realisation of community rights.
In 2018, several pro-poor political decisions were made where NCA’s partners played an influencing role. In Zambia, national budgets and plans increased allocations to social sectors crucial to reduce poverty, in accordance to input made from NCA’s partners. For example, in the 2019 national budget, which was produced in 2018, allocation to education increased by 15.6% and the health allocation increased by 20.9%.
Monitoring of public budgets and plans is important to ensure that they are implemented according to plan. Across the programme in 2018, government officials were held to account more than 1,500 times by men and women trained by NCA and its partners to evaluate public plans and budgets.
The programme has worked to ensure that women and men influence policies and legal frameworks governing extractive industries. In Malawi public media was utilised, civil society alliances strengthened, and decision makers lobbied to influence the revision process of the mines and minerals bill from 1981. In late 2018, the long-awaited bill passed and several recommendations from NCA and its partners were included, for example communities’ rights to negotiate legally binding community agreements with investors.
All implementing countries have supported communities affected by mining operations. In Mozambique, NCA’s partner Christian Council of Mozambique has accompanied local communities close to a mining area in Cabo Del Gado province, where rubies were discovered a decade ago. The local communities have experienced human rights abuses such as beatings, sexual abuse, unlawful detentions and even killings.
Through their inter-faith committee, NCA’s partner assisted in the process of documenting human rights abuses and increased the local Artisanal Miners Committee’s capacity to demand international human rights standards compliance by the mining company. They established collaboration with the public prosecutor and in 2018 the British based lawyers, Leigh Day, took up the case and won a settlement on behalf of the affected community worth USD 5.7 million. The lawyers said that the work of NCA’s partner had been critical for the result of the settlement.
At the regional level, the NCA induced civil society platform, Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI), forged engagement with the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission on Africa, resulting in AMI taking part developing a continental policy shaping mineral resource governance in Africa. The input is trackable in the final document, the first African Mineral Governance Framework. This is a critical policy tool to ensure that the continent’s mineral resources are governed for the benefit of Africans and the document was adopted by the African Ministers of Mining in 2017 and the African Heads of States in 2018.
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is a tool NCA’s partners have used to demand increased transparent management of extractive industries and to ensure that duty bearers such as governments demonstrate increased transparent management of public resources. NCA and its partners take part in the Multi Stakeholder Groups in Tanzania, Zambia and Malawi. In Zimbabwe, NCA’s partner ZELA advocated for inclusion of EITI in the 2019 National Budget Statement, whereby the Ministry of Finance asked ZELA to craft a statement, which appeared word for word in the 2019 National Budget Statement which was released in 2018.