Global Report on Results
A member of the Mabuka Action Group in Mulanje district, Malawi contributing on the Issues on Mining during a meeting organised by Evengelical Association of Malawi. Photo: Callisto Sekeleza/Norwegian Church Aid
Overall goal: Accountable governance of national resources for rights-based development.
In 2015, NCA and partners have influenced duty bearers at all levels, resulting in the adoption and implementation of pro-poor policies. NCA partners have gained recognition as relevant actors being listened to and included in policy processes regarding extractive industries and public finances. In 2015 3,806 rights-holders conducted budget monitoring and claimed their rights resulting in social services being delivered according to public plans. The Resources and Finance programme was implemented in the following eight countries in 2015: Angola, Brazil, Guatemala, Malawi, Myanmar, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.
Civil society platform now too strong to ignore
The core of this programme is to mobilise rights-holders to hold duty-bearers accountable on issues of natural resources and public finances. Addressing root causes of poverty and injustice through influencing decision makers is a process that often does not lead to visible results within a short time, but when change finally occurs, often after years of strategic work at several levels, it is significant and has wide ranging consequences. To achieve results in the Resources and Finance programme, strengthening of civil society is therefore pivotal. The presence of NCA enables the close accompaniment of partners and rights-holders in advocacy processes needed to hold duty bearers accountable in their management of public resources. Building strong, strategic and decisive civil society organisations and platforms demands multifaceted approaches, patience and contextual sensitivity.
One example that shows long-term effort and change in approach is the work NCA and partners have invested in the Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI) platform, which has become an important vehicle for mobilising civil society organisations to challenge duty bearers around mining issues. The AMI was established by NCA and partners in 2010. The corporate Mining Indaba at first tried to ignore it, then to silence it and later to threaten the AMI. However, as the civil society platform has grown stronger and larger, meetings of civil society actors have not only been at the international level, but also at national and local levels including in Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi and Botswana. The movement has grown in such a way that to ignore it is no longer an option. In 2015, there have been several signs showing changes in relationships between duty-bearers and rights-holders:
At the international AMI arranged in Cape Town in February, NCA and the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) arranged a meeting where 25 rights-holders from mining communities and civil society organisations met face to face for the first time with 25 senior representatives from mining companies to discuss relevant issues. The dialogue started off as tense, but eventually eased as delegates began to dialogue and understand each other’s positions.
National policy makers have also shown interest in interacting with the AMI platform. In Zimbabwe, for the first time, the Deputy Minister of Mines attended the full two-day meeting. Communities were given a rare opportunity to directly raise concerns over issues they are facing. Some of the concerns were solved immediately, like the small-scale miners issues with license papers needed to proceed with mining activities. NCA partner ZELA was invited to participate in the Ministry of Mines Strategic Planning meeting, giving NCA partners the chance to directly influence duty bearers and mining policy.
At the end of 2015, yet another milestone was achieved when NCA and partner Bench Marks were contacted via e-mail from the Managing Director of the Mining Indaba with the aim “to find ways to forge a more productive path forward between our groups”. In late November a meeting took place in Johannesburg leading to the start of the first ever formal direct engagement between MI and AMI.
The deviations in the resources and finance programme in 2015 are related to elections in Tanzania and Myanmar. Budget monitoring and advocacy activities are difficult to prioritise during elections, because civil society is occupied with following election processes. Financial constraints have also impacted the number of projects monitored. The drop in oil prices had an impact on the Angolan economy, and significantly fewer projects were monitored in 2015 compared to previous years, as funding from the central government to municipality for poverty reduction and rural development programmes was delayed and reduced.
OUTCOME 1: Rights-holders have monitored budgets and tracked public resources
Achieved in Angola, Brazil, Tanzania and Zambia where 3,806 rights-holders were involved in budget monitoring and tracking. This increased their access to water, education, healthcare and other community rights. Not achieved in Myanmar and Malawi, due to postponement (Myanmar) and termination of partnership (Malawi).
OUTCOME 2: Rights-holders have claimed their right to benefit from natural resources
Achieved in Zambia, Malawi, Guatemala, Southern Africa, Tanzania, and for the first time in Myanmar, where rights-holders addressed policy makers about the establishment of a sovereign wealth fund the necessity of civil society to be involved in developing policies for the fund.
OUTCOME 3: Moral duty bearers have been challenged to protect vulnerable communities against violations caused by natural resource exploitation
Achieved in Myanmar and Guatemala. However, NCA has challenged religious leaders in all resources and finance countries, and they play a key role in mobilising their constituencies and using their legitimacy to address duty bearers on issues related to public resources and extractive industries. 138 religious leaders in Guatemala supported women and indigenous peoples through church meetings, press conferences, and accompanied communities when addressing the departmental level.
OUTCOME 4: Legal duty bearers have been influenced to protect marginalised groups’ right to fair access to natural resources
Achieved in Brazil and Zambia. The AMI platform was used as a springboard for advocacy towards the 2015 revision of the Mine and Mineral Development Act. Not fully achieved in Tanzania, as the elections made 2015 a politically charged year with limited opportunities for addressing duty bearers.
OUTCOME 5: Duty bearers have been challenged to demonstrate increased transparency and accountability of public financial flows
Achieved in Angola, Malawi, Myanmar, Zambia, Southern Africa and Tanzania, where NCA and partners have experienced increased recognition as relevant actors and been able to influence duty bearers on their ethical commitments, national budget processes and mining and tax policies.
OUTCOME 6: Targeted extractive industries have been challenged to demonstrate increased transparency and accountability on capital flows and compliance to environmental standards
Achieved in Norway, Zambia and partly in Brazil. Two NCA partners in Zambia were elected to represent civil society in the EITI Multi Stakeholder Group, giving them a strategic position to enter into dialogue with and influence government and mining companies.
OUTCOME 7: NCA and partners have influenced public debate and/or policies towards a democratic and transparent global financial and aid systems
Achieved in Norway through a conference arranged by NCA and Nordic ACT Alliance members with 250 participants, high-level policy makers and media. Debate was generated and the timeliness of the conference and the debate generated contributed to reversing severe proposed budget cuts.Back