Transparency of Oil Revenues and Public Finance in Azerbaijan


Issue:

Country: Azerbaijan


Revenue Watch activities in Azerbaijan are overseen by the Open Society Institute-Assistance Foundation's "Transparency of Oil Revenues and Public Finance" program (TORPF). Established in 2003, TORPF aims to generate and publicize research, information, and advocacy on the investment and disbursement of revenues, and the responses by government and extractive companies to civic demands for accountability. The TORPF program, which collaborates closely with a variety of local NGOs, also seeks to build the monitoring capacity of local groups through training in budget monitoring and reporting on the extractive sector, and seed grants to budget watchdogs.

Working with RWI, the TORPF program has three main focal areas for its technical and financial support:

EITI Implementation
Azerbaijan's coalition "For Increasing Transparency in the Extractive Industries" plays a lead role in the monitoring and implementation of EITI. The coalition's first priority is increased leverage for civil society seeking to impact state policy. Projects include capacity-building for coalition members, public awareness campaigns, media outreach, public debates, analysis of local audits, and strategic participation in the international EITI campaign. For more information on EITI in Azerbaijan, go to www.eiti-az.org.

National Budget Group

The National Budget Group (NBG) is an alliance of leading economists and practioners in Azerbaijan that promotes public participation and education in the budgetary process. The Group recommends budget policy reforms, and advocates for effective execution in budget processes. It functions as an incubator for effective transparency strategies for public finance, providing expert analysis to government officials, and training for parliamentarians and civil society in participatory budgeting and expenditure monitoring. For more information on budget transparency in Azerbaijan, go to www.nbg.az.

Civic Response Network
Azerbaijan's Civic Response Network (CRN) assists in the resolution of citizen grievances through monitoring, research and audits of corporate and government decisions that affect producing communities. The Network presents progressive ideas and recommendations to promote community goals. It works in five regions of Azerbaijan – Ganja, Salyan, Hajiqbul, Balakhani and Siyazan – where local groups develop pilot projects to monitor the range of problems caused by resource extraction. The CRN is based loosely on the Alaskan model of Regional Citizen's Advisory Councils (RCACs) which were formed after the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989, in response to the lack of informed public participation or oversight of local EI activities.