Blog

Interviews, background on NRGI research and training events and up-to-the-minute analysis by staff and experts from around the world.

Today, Switzerland-based trading house Trafigura disclosed how much it paid to several governments in exchange for commodities in its first annual responsibility report. For decades, physical commodity traders have embraced secrecy as a basic part of their business model, even when dealing with public institutions. The disclosures by Trafigura represent a much-needed step away from this unfortunate tradition. There remains, however, ample room for improvement.

The Open Government Partnership, which launched in 2011, quickly morphed into a popular initiative. OGP membership has grown from just eight countries to 66 participating nations. Many governments and international organizations have given it direct support.

A review recently prepared by a coalition of Azerbaijan non-governmental organizations is unique—it is one of the first deep analyses of that country’s EITI report, and the first based on the new EITI standard.

This photo essay is the sixth installment in NRGI's 2015 extractive industries photo documentary project, which aims to capture the complex political, environmental and social realities at resource extraction sites throughout Myanmar.


With over a decade of journalism experience, Xinhua News Agency senior correspondent Justice Adoboe is far more experienced than the typical NRGI media trainee. In covering the complex extractives space, however, Adoboe said he has room to grow. NRGI trainers, meanwhile, discovered the course itself had to grow and change.

The large fall in the price of oil since mid-2014 is on the whole good news for Tanzania, which is a net importer of oil. Indeed, Tanzanian stocks are around 40 percent higher than when oil prices began falling from a peak of $115 a barrel on June 19 last year...

While headlines still narrate a woeful tale of conflict in oil-rich Libya, many actors are hard at work planning for the country’s future, once peace prevails.

The oil, gas and mining sectors are critical for a majority of Open Government Partnership (OGP) countries. Yet, only about 10 percent of OGP commitments relate to natural resources...

On 26 October 2015, the Natural Resource Governance Institute, the World Bank, and the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) relaunched ResourceContracts.org in advance of the Open Government Partnership Summit in Mexico City. ResourceContracts.org was initially launched in 2012 as a searchable database of publicly available oil, gas, and mining contracts.

This photo essay is the fifth installment in NRGI's 2015 extractive industries photo documentary project, which aims to capture the complex political, environmental and social realities at resource extraction sites throughout Myanmar.


"It is my great hope that we will reach a day when the Open Government Partnership will not be needed. I wish for that day to come soon. Not because I have given up on the power of our work as governments and civil society together. To the contrary. Because I believe that open government should become a matter of course – the everyday means of empowering people."

In Nigeria, perhaps no institution is associated with corruption more than the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. In a conversation at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, NRGI director of governance programs Alexandra Gillies and co-author Alex Sayne delved deep into their report on the labyrinthine opacity of the state-owned entity.

This photo essay is the fourth installment in NRGI's 2015 extractive industries photo documentary project, which aims to capture the complex political, environmental and social realities at resource extraction sites throughout Myanmar.


NRGI team members from around the world joined around 1,500 participants the Open Government Partnership Global Summit in Mexico City from October 26 through October 29. Through workshops, panel discussions, plenaries, gatherings and instructional sessions, attendees focused on the positive impact of open, accountable, transparent government and closely examined key governance challenges.

In the third of a series of photo essays by six different photographers in Myanmar, Andre Malerba documents the health and economic impacts of both locally owned and corporate gold mining.


Indonesia's President recently outlined new economic policies which aim to produce greater certainty and efficiency in business through deregulation, de-bureaucratization, and improved law enforcement. His overall objective is to revive foreign investment in Indonesia in the context of global economic slowdown.

In the second of a series of photo essays by six different photographers in Myanmar, Minzayar documents the way in which jade from Myanmar makes its way, untaxed, to bustling Chinese markets.


NRGI joined World Bank and IMF executives and others on stage in Lima, Peru, to discuss "Individual Integrity and Public Sector Governance" and took part in a slate of other activities at the annual meetings.

Today, the International Monetary Fund released its model for evaluating and designing oil and mining deals in resource-rich countries. NRGI welcomes the move. With growing availability of open data on extractives and a growing community of users of such models, it’s an important step toward bettering public scrutiny and understanding of resource deals and the flow of revenues.

NRGI president and CEO Daniel Kaufmann, who co-produces the Worldwide Governance Indicators published by the World Bank, discussed his recent article “Corruption Matters” with the IMF’s Bruce Edwards. Published in September in Finance & Development, the piece discusses the larger themes of governance and corruption in Latin America and elsewhere.

Confronting corruption in Latin America--one of the great development challenges the region faces--means understanding the shape it takes in respective nations. NRGI has addressed the topic extensively in the last months.

Earlier this year, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed the Public Finance Management Act 2015 into law and created one of the world's newest sovereign wealth funds. While the law provides a solid framework for effective governance, several key elements are missing—elements that would determine whether Uganda will truly benefit from its oil windfalls.

In the first of a series of photo essays by six different photographers in Myanmar, Lauren DeCicca has documented the challenging circumstances faced by community members living alongside the giant copper mine.


In 2014, NRGI commissioned images by a Myanmar photographer, Minzayar, of the illegal jade miners that have flowed into the country’s northern Kachin state in pursuit of higher incomes. The project allowed thousands of viewers worldwide to connect faces to one of the most famously controversial aspects of the country’s extractive economy. Because of the attention and interest generated by Minzayar’s photos, NRGI has committed to further visually mapping extractives realities in Myanmar.

The UK and Norway oil and gas sectors provide an ideal comparison through which to compare the outcomes from different approaches to oil sector governance. The two countries have equivalent geology and a similar resource base – the North Sea Basin is effectively split down the middle between them.