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.
Strengthening civil society
Deviations and lessons learned
Results per Global Outcome
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.
Civil society organisations influence national budgets and policy direction
WHY: Lack of civil society and rights-holder participation in policy processes is an obstacle to the realisation of human rights.
WHAT: NCA has supported civil society to influence policy and has provided capacity building, accompaniment and facilitation of spaces for dialogue with policy makers.
RESULTS: Budgets and policy are influenced to be more pro-poor.
In Myanmar, a country rich in natural resources, NCA partners are engaging policy makers on the citizens’ right to benefit from these. In 2015, NCA supported a Sovereign Wealth Fund Conference with 250 participants from civil society, government and other stakeholders. Delegates gave clear input for future policy direction in Myanmar, including the need for input from the public in order to develop policies for the funds. The conference report and its recommendations were used for advocacy towards government ministries and decision-makers, including the President’s office. The response from the government is that it is considering setting up a fund, and welcomes suggestions from civil society.
In 2015, the government in Angola publically recognised the impact of the social monitoring and participatory poverty assessments by including recommendations made by NCA partner CICA regarding health, education and infrastructure in the government’s development plans at local, provincial and national levels. In 2015 the construction of a new road in Balombo was a result of such influence. In Zambia, civil society, including a number of NCA partners, have participated in the pre-budgeting process both at district, provincial and at national level. Through the Zambia Tax Platform (ZTP), five NCA partners collected input from rights-holders and various stakeholders, and in 2015 a total of 28 submissions were handed over to the Ministry of Finance and National Planning. A media briefing where representatives from four government ministries were present was also arranged to give input to the 2016 budget proposals. Five of the proposals from ZTP were adopted and included in the national budget announced on 9th October 2015, with an increase in the social protection budget being one of the major achievements. Through the pre-budgeting process, NCA partners have also contributed extensively to putting pressure on the government to institutionalise citizen participation in general budgeting and planning processes. As a result the government has taken the Planning and Budgeting Bill, which deals with civil society participation, to Parliament for enactment. Also in Zimbabwe, relations between government and civil society have been institutionalised in 2015, as NCA partner ZELA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Parliament of Zimbabwe’s Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mining. This opened doors for the partner to directly engage and influence key policy makers in a structured and formalised manner, a privilege not many civil society organisations in the region have.
Partners in several countries have been involved in the revisions of mining legislation in the reporting period. In Malawi, partners have been consulting rights-holders in drafting the Mines and Mineral Bill in order to provide input to the parliament. In Zambia, the national AMI has been used as a springboard for advocacy on the revision of the 2008 Mine and Mineral Development Act, which cumulated into the Mine and Mineral Development Act of 2015. Botswana is operating on one of the oldest mining laws in the region dating back to 1962, and hence the Botswana Council of Churches officially challenged the government in September to review the mining related policies and to include local communities and civil society in the process.
Villagers push mining company to deliver on its social obligations
WHY: The mining company operating in Mpamantwa village was not delivering on its contractual obligations. Village leaders did not act on behalf of the village members, and would not claim the rights of the citizens towards the mining company.
WHAT: Training of villagers in the Public Expenditure Tracking System (PETS) made them aware of and empowered them to hold their leaders to account and claim what the mining company had promised to deliver according to the contract.
RESULTS: Villagers demanded their rights in a multi-faceted way, including dialogue, petitions, rallying and engaging the legal duty bearers, resulting in the mining company finally constructing the promised road, school and boreholes.
“If it was not for PETS, the government would have done nothing”, Mikhael Mkunja said in the documentary about Mpamantwa Village.
In the small rural community in Mpamantwa Village in Dodoma region in Tanzania, stone quarrying started in 2004. In 2010 Chinese investor Sands Company took over the intervention, informing the village that they held a stone quarry license from the Ministry of Energy and Minerals. In the contract signed between the mining company and the local government, the company was obliged to supply water wells, construct a primary school and build a road from the village to Dodoma town, which would increase access to health facilities.
In this village NCA partners Christian Council of Tanzania and Tanzania Centre for Debt and Development conducted PETS training in 2007. The PETS committee’s knowledge of how to read and compare plans and budgets, track expenditures and hold leaders accountable came to good use when the mining company had not met its obligations two years after the stone extraction started. In addition, the villagers reported that the village leadership suppressed the topic whenever issues related to the contract were raised at village assembly meetings.
The PETS committee analysed the situation and found that the village leaders and the ward councillor had allegedly approached the company on various occasions to seek funding for personal and political interests. The PETS committee raise awareness on citizens’ rights and they distributed documentation from other parts of Tanzania on how citizens took actions against corrupt leaders.
The mobilisation resulted in villagers starting to hold the village leaders to account. In April 2015 the village government, in collaboration with PETS members, wrote a letter to Sands Company informing that they would close the road the company used if they did not deliver the services as promised. They also engaged their member of parliament and requested that Minister for Energy and Minerals visit the village, since the company claimed to have a licence from the Tanzania Minerals Audit Agency. In response to this request the Minister for Energy and Minerals, visited Mpamantwa village in June 2015 and ordered the company to stop the production and fulfil their commitments before continuing. The result is that the company has started construction of the road, the water wells have been dug and water pumps are purchased. The school building is also erected.
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