PWYP Ghana brings together 30 civil society organisations focused on advocacy to promote transparent oil exploration and revenue management. The coalition participates in the national EITI multi-stakeholder group and has worked on expanding opportunities for civil society to participate in decision making around the oil, gas and mining sectors. It has also worked on petroleum revenue tracking and expenditure. PWYP Ghana has undertaken a gender scan of the coalition and is exploring opportunities to ensure more meaningful participation of, and representation by, women in the coalition’s programmes and institutional structure, as well a greater engagement with women’s rights organisations. The coalition is building its capacity to analyse company beneficial ownership registers in order to monitor and highlight corruption risks related to the sector.
I was trained as an agriculturist and have worked with farmers all my life. I started to see how mining competes with agriculture for land and how it devours community land.
I also witnessed the differences in development and education – so many rural communities do not have a voice and do not understand what will happen to their lives when so called “development” choices are taken. Communities in mining regions were being displaced from the lives they had always known and losing their livelihoods. Once you take away land from people, you are preventing them from their lives. Women weren’t eating, just so that the little they had went to their families.
My husband was also trained as an agriculturist, he was monitoring policies and how they affect farmers. We saw that farmers were losing out because of some of the mining policies, so we thought it was an opportunity to provide at least some information on rights. The only reason farmers weren’t protecting their rights was because they didn’t know their rights.
We needed to build capacity, so we found people trained in mining policy and got them together and formed a group to understand what it was all about. When we first started mobilising and organising communities we worked with two communities. Within three months we were working with eight communities who were engaging with eight different multi-national companies. Perhaps if we had known the magnitude of what we were getting ourselves into we might not have done it, because what we were getting ourselves into was huge!
I work with communities that are affected by mining and provide them with information so that they have the right to know and the right to decide. Some of the people in the communities might not speak English, but they’ll go to town meetings and quote the relevant sections of the National Mining Act. Communities are saying no to mining in their area, simply because they don’t feel that they have all the information.
I don’t see ourselves as fighting on behalf of the communities, we’re just helping them get access to the tools they need to fight for themselves; information is a form of empowerment.
Since its inception in June 2002, the PWYP campaign coalition has grown from a few UK-based organisations to become a global network of more than 700 organisations in almost 60 countries organised into a fairly loose alliance of affiliated national coalitions. Some of these coalitions share the same PWYP brand and logo, while others have distinct and independent identities. All, however, share the same status of affiliation, without differentiation.
With the growth and evolution of the global campaign has come two particular challenges. Firstly increasing demands on the international secretariat for coordination and support to national coalitions far outstrip its current capacities. Secondly, despite the important achievements of the campaign at the international level, national coalitions continue to face numerous operational challenges, which undermine their effectiveness to advance the advocacy agenda at national level. These problems are to be found at different levels and to differing degrees, though they are present in almost all coalitions in the resource-rich countries.
With this in mind, this study has two primary objectives:
1. To test the organisational theory of change (“the coordinated, collective actions of a diverse coalition of organisations will be most effective in driving policy change for greater extractive industry transparency”) and assess the extent (and where, why and how) to which this theory has been proven at national level (or not).
2. To assess the operational difficulties of coalitions and to recommend good practices for how coalitions can best be managed and supported.
The study began with a review of 10 country coalitions, selected in consultation with the International Secretariat: Ghana, Niger, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Nigeria, Chad, Indonesia, Australia, US and UK. Of the ten countries, field trips were conducted in first four while the remaining six were studied remotely through telephone interviews.
After preliminary analysis of the country reviews, a number of common themes were identified. These were tested across a wider sample of opinion through a Delphic consultation conducted through two mechanisms at the PWYP conference in Amsterdam in 2012 – an instant vote system of up to 100 delegates within a session at the conference, and distribution of a paper questionnaire to all participants who were then able to answer on paper or online. The survey received 54 responses.
Read the rest of the report.