This programme builds upon NCA’s 2011-2015 Resources and Finance programme with a strengthened focus on natural resource governance, budget monitoring and capital flight. The programme should not be interpreted as a broad accountable governance programme, but focusing on accountable governance related to natural resources and other public resources to achieve economic justice.
There is a lack of equitable distribution of resources both globally and in the countries where NCA works. In the global perspective, the net flow of resources goes from poor to rich countries, with much of this attributable to illicit capital flight and inadequate taxation of foreign companies. In countries where NCA works, high levels of corruption, coupled with lack of participatory and accountable governance hinders equitable distribution of resources. Inadequate policies and poor implementation and control of existing legal frameworks hinder effective governance over extractive industries. Communities in extractive areas all around the world suffer from environmental pollution, forced relocation and lack of compensation; this results in losses of land, livelihoods and sometimes lives. These communities, and particularly vocal civil society representatives, often experience violence, threats and lack of security and peace.
In many countries, civil society experiences limited - and sometimes decreasing - space for involvement in governance processes. Lack of transparency and a lack of access to public information hinder civil society participation in governance processes. At the same time, many people lack information, voice and the practical engagement strategies they need in order to influence the governance of public resources. Non-democratic governance practices, including lack of consultations with affected populations in accordance with international legislation (such as ILO 169), hinders the realisation of community rights and excludes large parts of the population from decision-making processes.
Root causes for these economic injustices are the multiple power imbalances that exist: between companies and governments; between communities and companies; between governments and communities; and between governments at different geographic levels within a country.
The programme vision is economic and environmental justice, with the overall goal of accountable governance of public resources for equitable distribution of wealth and sustainable development.
The main intervention strategies in this programme can be grouped under two headings:
Natural resource governance implies a focus on ensuring that natural resources are utilised and governed for the benefit of the public. Participatory and accountable governance implies a focus on public resources to fight mismanagement and ensure just and equitable distribution of public resources.
The programme will utilise advocacy and community mobilisation as its main strategies to ensure sustainable and accountable governance of public resources. Community mobilisation will open new channels for dialogue with duty bearers, create public debate and allow rights holders a voice in setting the public agenda. NCA and its partners will use evidence-based advocacy (including collaboration with academia and research institutions) to influence policies, legal frameworks and related practices by duty bearers.
The main indicator of success of the natural resource governance intervention will be increased realisation of community rights in extractive industry areas. The key components of the natural resource governance interventions will be to address the economic, social and environmental impacts of extractive industries. Key methods to achieve these are to mobilise communities and facilitate community consultation processes (as a way of mobilising rights holders, challenging governments, and securing rights to free, prior and informed consent), facilitation of multi-stakeholder platforms, strengthening civil society platforms (such as Alternative Mining Indabas)23, and monitoring and documenting extractive industries’ social and environmental effects.
Another key component is to increase public income generation and distribution from non-renewable resources through improved taxation legal frameworks, implementation and checks and balances. Key methods to achieve this are evidence-based advocacy and the development of alternative policies and equitable distribution schemes.
The main indicator of success in the strengthening participatory and accountable governance intervention is more equal distribution of public resources. The key components of this intervention are budget monitoring and participatory poverty assessments, anti-corruption strategies, strengthening citizens’ oversight capacity and access to information, engagement in capital flight and wider taxation issues.
Key methods to achieve this are budget monitoring (Social Monitoring, Public Expenditure Tracking System (PETS), and Budget and Human Rights models), participatory poverty analysis, and evidence- based advocacy. Organising rights holders in civil society platforms and opening up new space for dialogue through multistakeholder platforms are further cross-cutting methods.
In fragile states and countries with limited space for civil society, NCA will use non-confrontational approaches. A focus on dialogue and collaboration in our advocacy work, combined with working through faith-based organisations, will enable space for influencing policy development and implementation.
This programme is innovative through introducing gender sensitive budget analysis tools, developing online and more user-friendly and accessible budget monitoring tools, as well as tools for monitoring the extractive industry’s effects at community level like the community monitors’ school model.
The main rights holders in this programme are marginalised communities, indigenous peoples and ethnic minorities. The main legal duty bearers are governments (both local and national levels), as well as parliamentarians and extractive companies. The main moral duty bearers are religious leaders.
The programme has an inherent focus on strengthening civil society. This will be achieved through establishing new and strengthening existing groups and structures. Civil society platforms, such as the Alternative Mining Indabas at local, national and international levels, budget monitoring groups (that define their own monitoring agendas), community consultations and multi-stakeholder dialogue platforms will enhance community participation and voice the concerns of rights holders. The programme focuses on linking partners across country borders for experience sharing and learning, and in order to improve synergies and better coordinate advocacy work globally.
The core partners in the programme are faith-based organisations; NCA will challenge our faith-based partners to take up new roles as societal actors beyond service delivery, to be the voice of and advocate on behalf of poor and marginalised communities and to act as watch dogs in their respective countries.
NCA’s cooperation with faith-based organisations gives added legitimacy to interventions, allows interventions to be rooted in locally defined priorities, and facilitates the mobilisation of rights holders. As a Norwegian faith-based organisation, NCA is able to challenge other faith-based organisations to take on new roles in their societies through being a voice and acting as advocates for poor and marginalised communities. In addition, NCA’s cooperation with the ACT Alliance links the local to the global level. NCA has a long experience with the work on extractive industries and with budget monitoring from a number of countries. NCA is therefore well placed to facilitate south-south linkages, to play a watch dog role and to challenge Norwegian companies and investors (as Norway is one of the big investors in extractive operations in the countries we work). Norway is also considered a “role model” on natural resource governance and NCA brings part of the Norwegian experience into this work.
This programme will enhance gender equality and youth involvement by using gender sensitive budget analysis tools, ensuring that youth, men and women participate equally in this programme, through using communication channels and communication technology that speak to youth and increasingly involving youth platforms with our faith-based partners.
Read also about results from our Global Report 2015