Revenue Watch Institute

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The Revenue Watch Institute is a non-profit policy institute and grantmaking organization that promotes the effective, transparent and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources for the public good. Through capacity building, technical assistance, research, funding and advocacy, we help countries realize the development benefits of their natural resource wealth.

First launched in 2002 as the Revenue Watch Program of the Open Society Institute, and spun off into an independent organization in June 2006, the Revenue Watch Institute is the only organization dedicated exclusively to addressing the special problems of oil, gas and mining-dependent countries—countries where poverty, conflict and corruption too often converge.

We take a comprehensive approach to improving governance and development across the entire value chain—from the organization of extractive production, revenue generation and revenue management, through the expenditure processes and development outcomes in resource rich countries.

We have played a central role in nurturing and building the capacity of the transparency and accountability movement in producing countries for the past five years.

RWI's work

  • A mainstay of RWI's work is the development of civil society capacity. Revenue Watch provides financial and technical training and support in over twenty resource-rich countries. We produce guidebooks and organize study tours and exchanges. We also facilitate regional and international workshops on civil society oversight of the entire extractive resource value chain, from contracts and licensing to revenue and expenditure tracking. We are a founding member of the international Publish What You Pay Campaign, and help to fund a number of national PWYP coalitions, from the U.S. and Canada to Ghana and Indonesia.
  • RWI is a leader in the ongoing development, implementation and internationalization of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), and has been since the EITI's inception. We served on the International Advisory Group in 2006, and subsequently as a civil society representative on the EITI Governing Board.
  • RWI is helping to spearhead the global campaign to change international policies and practices among all the major players in this sector-including extractive companies, investors, multilateral development institutions and bilateral donors.
  • RWI-supported research is formalizing a body of literature on best practices in extractives revenue management, including contracting, oil fund laws, fiscal regimes for mining, effective parliamentary oversight and proper audits.
  • Through pilot projects and partnerships with development economists, RWI is creating a set of concrete savings and expenditure strategies for natural resource windfalls. These strategies will help national and local governments achieve the greatest return on their development investments.
  • While much of RWI's work focuses on building civil society capacity in producing countries, we have also undertaken joint monitoring initiatives with industry actors and provided both legal and economic technical assistance to governments. This multi-faceted approach has enabled RWI to serve as a trusted mediator who can bring diverse and often mistrustful stakeholders together for constructive forums and partnerships to enhance economic governance and accountability.

The RWI Approach

The Revenue Watch Institute addresses the complex and diverse challenges of resource dependency according to four operating principles:

  • Continuous independent civil society oversight and monitoring
  • Timely research on the country's extractive industry and public finance management to ensure that current/proposed policies are in the public's best interest
  • Well-informed advocacy promoting greater openness and accountability in government management and distribution of extractive revenues and public finances more broadly
  • Independent technical assistance to provide governments with a genuine interest in becoming more accountable and transparent with the knowledge and tools to do so

Revenue Watch is concerned with both revenue and expenditure transparency and our partners engage in increasingly diverse forms of public finance monitoring, including service delivery, participatory budgeting, and aid and expenditure tracking. RWI partners have now begun to share skills and strategies among themselves, coalescing into an indigenous-led network of non-governmental organizations that is itself a growing force in the fight against corruption and abuse of the public interest in resource-dependent countries.

Revenue Watch brings a constructive multi-stakeholder approach to its work, based on a fundamental alliance with civil society. We identify the scholars, citizens, and activists in resource-dependent countries with an interest in promoting transparent and accountable governance, and work with them to monitor and raise public awareness about their countries' extractive industries and public finances.

We also work with journalists to build their capacity to understand, analyze and report on their countries' extractive industries and public finances. We work with companies to encourage and support an accountable and transparent presence in resource-rich countries and to highlight the shareholder risks that come along with investing in nations where good governance is lacking.

Finally, Revenue Watch works with policymakers to increase the effective and transparent management of natural resource revenues, and with international financial institutions. RWI acts as a clearinghouse of information, as a convener of multi-stakeholder dialogue and as a neutral and independent source of expertise and advice on highly contentious issues, such as stabilization agreements and petroleum fund development.

Geographic range

The Revenue Watch Institute currently supports partners and affiliates in Afghanistan, Australia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cambodia, Cote D'Ivoire, China, DRC, Ecuador, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Liberia, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Timor Leste, Uganda, Ukraine, Vietnam and Yemen.

RWI is based in New York, with satellite offices in London and Accra, Ghana, and a regional presence in Azerbaijan, Nigeria, Indonesia, Tanzania and Peru.

RWI Partners

Revenue Watch is concerned with both revenue and expenditure transparency, and "our partners engage in increasingly diverse forms of public finance monitoring, including service delivery, participatory budgeting, and aid and expenditure tracking. RWI partners have also begun to share skills and strategies among themselves, coalescing into an indigenous-led network of non-governmental organizations that is itself a growing force in the fight against corruption and abuse of the public interest in resource-dependent countries".

Our advocacy also brings us into regular contact with producing countries, both to bolster our own programs and to speak to governments, companies, donor and multi-lateral lending institutions, as well as local allies and coalitions. RWI and our partners work to identify issues related to mismanagement of natural resource revenues and other abuses, and to educate the US government, European Union, International Financial Institutions, donor agencies and the private sector on these issues.

Partners/2011

RWI Donors

Revenue Watch's funding comes through grants from foundations, governments and international financial institutions:[2]

2009

2008

Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, Oil for Development, $1,000,000

2007

2006

RWI projects

Advocacy

  • Contract and Revenue Transparency Reform Among Export Credit Agencies
  • Publish What You Pay Africa Regional Coordinator
  • Publish What You Pay US Coalition Coordinator
  • PWYP Africa Regional Workshop and Strategy Meetings
  • PWYP Angola Strategy Meeting
  • PWYP Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop
  • Strengthening Revenue and Contract Transparency of IFIs in the Caucasus and Central Asia

Capacity Building & Training

  • Azerbaijan: National Budget Group U.S. Study Tour
  • Conference: Natural Resources, Democracy and Development in Latin America
  • EITI Study Tour for Yemeni Civil Society
  • MIDDLE EAST: Revenue Transparency Project
  • Parliamentary Capacity Building
  • PWYP Liberia Study Tour to Sierra Leone
  • RWI Contract Transparency Fellowship
  • RWI Regional Hubs Program
  • RWI Subnational Program: Harnessing Oil, Gas and Minerals for Local Development
  • RWI Summer School: Technical Training Course and Policy Lab on Governance and Natural Resource Revenues
  • Strengthening Revenue and Contract Transparency of IFIs in the Caucasus and Central Asia
  • Workshop: The Role of Civil Society in Corporate Social Responsibility in Ecuador

Civil Society Monitoring & Advocacy

  • Afghanistan: Strengthening Civil Society and Media for the Mining Sector
  • Azerbaijan: Transparency of Oil Revenues and Public Finance Program
  • Burma: Improving Revenue Transparency and Civil Society Capacity
  • Center for Energy and Security Studies in the MENA Region
  • DRC: Strengthening Civil Society Capacity in the EITI Process
  • Drilling Down: EITI Audit and Accounting Guide for Civil Society
  • Economic Journalism Training for Angolan Media
  • EITI Public Awareness and Capacity Building in Tanzania
  • Expanding EITI in Southern Africa - Southern Africa Resource Watch
  • Georgia Revenue Watch (GRW) and the Coalition "For Transparency of Public Finances" (TPF)
  • Georgia Revenue Watch and the Transparency of Public Finances Coalition
  • Ghana: Strengthening Civil Society Capacity in the EITI Process
  • Green Advocates: Holistic Revenue Tracking in Liberia
  • Guinea: Strengthening Civil Society Capacity in the EITI Process
  • Kazakhstan Revenue Watch and Budget Transparency and Public Administration Programs
  • Legal Defense Funding for Civil Society Activists
  • Mauritania: Strengthening Civil Society Capacity in the EITI Proces
  • Monitoring the Impact of Oil Revenues in Mexico
  • Niger: Capacity Building and EITI Outreach for PWYP Coalition
  • Peru: Monitoring Extractive Industry Rents

Mainstreaming Revenue Transparency

  • Dodd-Frank: Adding Transparency to U.S. and EU Stock Exchange Requirements
  • International Accounting Standards Reform
  • Parliamentary Oversight of Mineral Revenues
  • US Legislation: The "Practice What You Preach" Bill

Research

  • Asian National Oil Company (NOC) Investments Abroad
  • Caspian Approach to Sovereign Wealth Funds in the Global Financial Crisis
  • Contract Transparency Campaign
  • Efficiency of Public Spending: Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia
  • Enhancing Economic and Development Benefits of Natural Resource Wealth
  • Good Governance of the National Petroleum Sector
  • Oxford Commodity Windfalls Study
  • Promoting the Revenue Transparency Index
  • Public Procurement System in Azerbaijan
  • Research on China's Energy Policy and Activities in Africa
  • Review of Recent Changes in Petroleum Fiscal Systems
  • Russia: Energy in the Regions

Technical Assistance

  • African Center for Economic Transformation: Technical Assistance Facility
  • Ecuador: Improving Transparency
  • Technical Assistance in Mongolia
  • Technical Assistance in Sierra Leone[3]

RWI Governing Board

As of 2011;[4]

RWI Advisory Board

As of 2011;[5]

RWI Team

As of 2011;[6]

References