Trillions of dollars in resources lie buried in the backyards of many of the world’s poorest citizens. Oil, gas and minerals can, if managed effectively and accountably, stimulate economic development. Too often, however, secrecy, corruption and weak institutions obstruct this path. To advance the understanding of this challenge, the Revenue Watch Institute has produced the Resource Governance Index, a collection of research, rankings and analysis that measures the quality of governance in the oil, gas and mining sector of 58 countries. Together, these nations produce 85 percent of the world’s oil, 90 percent of its diamonds and 80 percent of its copper, generating trillions of dollars annually. The future of these countries, both developed and developing, depends on how well they manage their resources.
On May 15, Global Economy and Development at Brookings hosted a discussion on these concerns. Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow Daniel Kaufmann, president of Revenue Watch, presented the index findings, followed by a panel discussion on resource governance with Carlos Pascual, special envoy and coordinator for International Affairs, Bureau of Energy Resources, U.S. State Department, and Brookings Senior Fellow George Ingram with the Global Economy and Development program. Brookings Visiting Fellow Tamar Manuelyan Atinc moderated the discussion.