Call for Researchers and Peer Reviewers for the Resource Governance Index 2016

The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) seeks individual researchers and peer reviewers to support the data gathering process for the 2016 Resource Governance Index.

Researchers will be responsible for answering a detailed questionnaire for each country under their responsibility, providing information on the government’s reporting and disclosure practices and on the country’s legal framework for the extractive sector. NRGI particularly welcomes applications from locally-based independent researchers who are committed to working long-term on resource governance issues in the country they are covering.

Peer reviewers will be responsible for reviewing/fact-checking the questionnaires for each country under their responsibility. NRGI particularly welcomes applications from locally-based peer reviewers associated with research or advocacy institutions that are committed to working long-term on resource governance issues in the country they are covering.

About the Natural Resource Governance Institute

The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) helps people to realize the benefits of their countries’ endowments of oil, gas and minerals. We do this through technical advice, advocacy, applied research, policy analysis, and capacity development. We work with innovative agents of change within government ministries, civil society, the media, legislatures, the private sector, and international institutions to promote accountable and effective governance in the extractive industries. For more information about NRGI, please visit: www.resourcegovernance.org.

RESEARCH FOCUS: The Resource Governance Index

The Resource Governance Index is a tool for measuring the quality of governance in the oil, gas and mining sectors across a diverse range of countries with considerable oil, gas and/or mineral reserves. The RGI is based on the premise that good governance of natural resources is necessary for the successful development of resource-rich countries. It provides a diagnostic tool to help identify good practices as well as governance shortcomings.

The Resource Governance Index 2013 provided information about crucial elements of resource revenue governance in 58 countries and regions. These nations produce 85 percent of the world's petroleum, 90 percent of diamonds and 80 percent of copper, generating trillions of dollars in annual profits. The future of these countries depends on how well they manage their oil, gas and minerals. The Index found that only 11 of the countries - less than 20 percent - have satisfactory standards of transparency and accountability. In the rest, the public lacks basic information about the oil, gas and mining sector. Even countries with generally satisfactory standards exhibit weaknesses in some dimensions. There is a major governance deficit in natural resources around the world, and the deficit is largest in the most resource-dependent countries, where nearly half a billion people live in poverty despite that resource wealth. Fortunately, some countries, including several emerging economies, show that satisfactory performance in resource governance is possible. For more information about the 2013 RGI go to: www.resourcegovernance.org/rgi

In its third implementation, the Index will cover 79 countries in six global regions - Africa, Asia-Pacific, Caucasus & Russia, Latin America, the Middle East & North Africa, and OECD countries.

We are still looking for consultants in the following countries:

Country Researcher Peer reviewer
Chad hiring complete accepting applications
Lao PDR hiring complete accepting applications
Oman hiring complete accepting applications
Qatar hiring complete accepting applications
Saudi Arabia hiring complete accepting applications
United Arab Emirates (UAE) accepting applications hiring complete

RESPONSIBILITIES

Researchers will cover between one and three countries, depending on their country expertise. For each of the assigned countries, researchers will complete a detailed questionnaire. In order to complete the questionnaire, researchers will consult publicly available official documents and conduct interviews with relevant government officials, civil society activists and local industry experts. Researchers will provide evidence (including but not limited to official websites, government reports, academic references and interviews) for their responses. Answers to the questionnaireshould be consistent with the guidelines in the Guide to the Resource Governance Index Questionnaire, which will be provided to all researchers at the beginning of the research process. An information management tool will be available throughout the research process, which will include instructions for researchers. The entire data gathering work, including entering answers to the questionnaire, will be conducted using this online platform. NRGI will provide assistance to researchers during the process to answer questions about the methodology and ensure high quality, consistent research.

Once the researchers have completed the questionnaires, NRGI will review them for accuracy and consistency. After this initial vetting process, the questionnaires will be submitted to anonymous peer reviewers with country expertise, who will cross-check all the answers and communicate any concerns to NRGI and the researcher. The government will also be invited to review completed questionnaires for their country, and be given an opportunity to respond and to correct any inaccuracies. Researchers may be asked to provide further evidence or clarifications in response to concerns raised by peer reviewers. NRGI will act as referee when conflicting answers are suggested to ensure consistency of assumptions across countries.

Peer reviewers will be asked to review/fact-check questionnaires completed by researchers, checking for completeness, factual errors and missing sources of information. NRGI will select one peer reviewer for each country, based on his or her expertise. During the review process, peer reviewers are expected to be available to respond to queries about the index from researchers or NRGI staff.

DELIVERABLES

Researchers will provide the following deliverables:

1. Completed questionnaire - For each of their assigned countries and sectors, researchers will return a completed questionnaire. Researchers will write a comment explaining their choice of answer, with evidence to support it. The evidence will generally involve at least one of the following:

i. A full citation, URL reference (where possible) and PDF of an official government document that supports or provides a foundation for the answer choice,

ii. A full citation, URL reference (where possible) and PDF of relevant newspaper articles, academic papers, books or reports by local or international institutions.

The information management tool will allow researchers to upload these documents and provide URLs. Key documents to be used as evidence include, but are not limited to:

  • Legislation
  • Government documents, including public statements by ministers, and information published by state-owned resource companies
  • Natural resource contracts
  • Environmental and social impact reports
  • Petroleum, gas and mining statistical reports or databases
  • Annual and in-year reports
  • EITI reports
  • Auditors’ reports

2. Country profile – For each country and sector, researchers will provide a brief summary (approx. 500 words) of their main findings.

Peer reviewers will produce the following deliverables:

1. Fact-checked questionnaire – For each of their assigned countries, peer reviewers will complete a review and fact check of the entire questionnaire. Peer reviewers will either validate the researcher’s answers or flag inaccuracies, and provide full evidence to support any corrections.

QUALIFICATIONS

All researchers and peer reviewers will possess the following qualifications:

  • Graduate degree in International Affairs, International Development, Political Sciences, Economics, or similar disciplines.
  • Demonstrated desk-based research skills.
  • Strong interviewing skills and familiarity with expert survey and research methodologies.
  • Detailed knowledge of extractive industries operating in the given region as well as of the political context of the region.
  • Interest in good governance or previous work on projects to improve transparency and accountability in the extractive sector.
  • Familiarity with movement for greater transparency in the extractives sector, including initiatives led by NRGI, as well as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and Publish What You Pay (PWYP).
  • Attention to detail; ability to meet deadlines.
  • Responsiveness to inquiries and excellent communication skills.
  • Independence from government and extractive companies.
  • Good level of English.

    Peer reviewers should be able to demonstrate:

  • Experience with research on public sector policy and ability to complete consulting projects.
  • Familiarity with governance of the extractives sector.
  • Record of working with research for governance projects.
  • Institutional peer reviewers should identify a person in charge of research and responsible for contact with NRGI.
  • Institutional peer reviewers should have sufficient time as part of their existing work plan to fulfill the obligations laid out above.

In addition, researchers and peer reviewers for the following regions should possess the following specific qualifications:

  • Caucasus – Fluent in Russian
  • Latin America – Fluent in Spanish or Portuguese
  • Middle East & North Africa – Fluent in Arabic
  • Sub-Saharan Africa – Fluent in English, French or other official language
  • Asia – Fluency in local languages such as Bahasa Indonesia preferred

DURATION

The entire research process for the Resource Governance Index will take place between January and March 2016. The data collection is expected to be completed by February, with the peer review process completed by March. Researchers are expected to be available for the duration of this entire period (January - March 2016). Actual dates of implementation for each country will depend on the date when work is started and researchers will receive deadlines for deliverables based on the date they sign their contracts. It is estimated that research on each country can be completed in approximately 40 hours, though the time required will vary. Subsequent revision and consultation time required of researchers is estimated at about 20 hours.

The peer review process will begin in February 2016, or earlier if researchers finish a complete questionnaire before that date. Peer reviewers are expected to be available for the duration of this period (February to March 2016). Actual dates of implementation for each country will depend on the date when work is started and peer reviewers will receive deadlines for deliverables based on the date they sign their contracts. It is estimated that the peer review for each country can be completed in approximately 20 hours, though the time required will vary.

Please note that researchers and peer reviewers will not bill at an hourly rate, but instead are compensated for the completed project.

FEE

NRGI will compensate each researcher upon satisfactory completion of the work, assignments and tasks outlined in this Terms of Reference at a rate of USD $3,000 for every assigned questionnaire.

NRGI will compensate each peer reviewer upon satisfactory completion of the work, assignments and tasks outlined in this Terms of Reference at a rate of USD $1,500 for every assigned questionnaire.

CONTRACT

Researchers and peer reviewers will be expected to sign a standard contract with the Natural Resource Governance Institute. Terms and conditions include confidentiality, no conflicts of interest and that the work product will be intellectual property of NRGI. Should consultants be interested, their contributions can be acknowledged in the published product.

How to Apply

Please complete the application form at http://form.jotformpro.com/form/52144665524960, providing a CV, cover letter, brief writing sample (of which the applicant is the sole author – no more than 15 pages, academic papers acceptable), and the names, email and phone number of two professional references. To apply as a researcher or peer reviewer associated with an institution, an expression of interest including your organization’s name, name of the person responsible, and contact information should be provided instead of a cover letter. All application materials must be in English.

In the letter, please be sure to specify the country for which you are applying, if you are applying as a researcher or peer reviewer, and to list any applicable language skills and in-country experience. Positions will be filled on a rolling basis, so interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.