Starting in June 2018, in partnership with Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), DG assessed the extractive industry (EI) data landscape in Senegal, Nigeria, and Guinea. The goal was to determine the feasibility of designing and implementing an Extractives Industry Data Portal (EIDP) for each country, the initial objective of which would be to reduce reporting delays in Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) annual reports. These delays could be up to two years for some countries.
This assessment followed initial work developing a website and portal for the Extractives Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) International Secretariat. It included an in-depth study of each country’s legal and institutional frameworks, readiness to open up EI data; an analysis of activities of actors in the sector and their willingness to promote open data use, and a review of human and technical capacities for sustainable implementation. The assessment methodology included desk research to understand the specific country context, followed by one-on-one interviews with stakeholders in the government, private sector, and community service organizations.
One major finding is that countries are at the stage now where collecting data on the EI financial flows is no longer enough. The stakeholders, and especially the non-state actors, want information that will help them advocate for protecting the environment of the neighboring communities, make sure that the kids have proper educational services, and that the communities have access to health facilities. These assessments changed our perception of the need for national portals. At first, we envisioned a simple data collection tool, but now we understand that these tools need to be more advanced. They need to be able to measure the impact on communities well being in general, highlighting the obstacles, challenges, priorities, and the areas that could be improved.
Au cours des dernières années, DG a intensifié sa recherche dans le domaine des industries extractives (IE) en Afrique de l'Ouest, ce qui a permis de mieux cerner les lacunes en termes de données et d'identifier les opportunités du secteur. Nous avons constaté que les informations disponibles au grand public sont principalement axées sur la transparence des flux financiers et ciblent la scène internationale, mais occultent les facteurs non-financiers et l'impact local réel de l'industrie. Une question reste en suspens : comment promouvoir la divulgation de données susceptibles d'appuyer les communautés impactées par les activités extractives ?
In the past few years, DG has increased focus on the extractives industry (EI) in West Africa and learned tremendously about the data gaps and opportunities in this sector. Overall we are seeing that while data is available, it is focused primarily on financial transparency and geared to a global audience, omitting information on local impacts and non-financial factors. A big question remains: how do we ensure that data is also used to support the communities impacted by extractives?
As we review our strategy, we plan to share here much of what we’ve learned through programming in more than a dozen countries – from our work and from our excellent partners – about the state of data in agriculture, tobacco control, open contracting, and the extractive industries. For each theme, we’ll explore who are the key data users, the decisions they make, the most important data gaps, and the crucial risks of data (mis)use. Here we share previews from some of our flagship programs.