van Oranje, M. and Parham, H. (2009) ‘Publishing What We Learned’

Precept 2 states that successful natural resource management requires government accountability to an informed public. In turn, an informed public requires greater transparency in the governance of natural resources. In the implementation of the Precept principles, third party oversight is found to be a useful instrument to achieving transparency. The Publish What You Pay (PWYP) coalition seeks to provide precisely that: third party oversight of resource revenue streams. The report by van Oranje and Parham provides an insight to some of the successes and challenges faced by PWYP in its initiatives since launching.

The report reflects upon the growth of the PWYP coalition since its beginning. In doing so it addresses the origins and structure, analyzes how PWYP operated internationally and examines the effectiveness of its advocacy and policy endeavors. Thus, the report acts as a practical tool for elucidating some of the lessons on how PWYP was able to achieve its success and overcome challenges. Factors contributing to its success include:

      - The simplicity of the underlying message: “citizens of countries that are rich in natural resources should not be poor” (p. 16). Clarity of objectives has allowed PWYP to get the issue on political and business agendas.

      - The organizational structure enables PWYP to deliver concrete results yet generation broad ownership.

      - Formal procedures managing strategic planning and advocacy have only been introduced when required thus it has been able to operate with minimal bureaucracy.

Two main challenges that remain however are overcoming entrenched interests in the continued lack of transparency from governments and companies and the need to continue transferring ownership to local groups whilst collaborating at an international level. 

Access the report here.

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