Renewing our Commitment to Combat Corruption in the Natural Resource Space
The Leveraging Transparency to Reduce Corruption Initiative (LTRC) is a global action-research project led by the Brookings Institution’s Governance Studies and Results for Development’s Accountability and Citizen Engagement practice (R4D-ACE). LTRC identifies, co-develops, and informs strategies and interventions to reduce corruption along the natural resource value chain. These strategies and interventions are grounded in evidence, extensive stakeholder consultations, and field work. We take a systems approach to corruption risks, with an eye toward complementing and strengthening efforts to tackle those risks through transparency, accountability, and participatory (TAP) approaches.
LTRC supports the efforts of diverse good governance and anti-corruption actors who engage with the extractives sector at the global, national, and subnational levels. We do this through research, knowledge brokerage, and testing of new approaches. Our TAP-Plus approach is used to understand, through dialogue between key stakeholders, the roots of existing challenges and implementation gaps in order to co-design multi-pronged strategies that can overcome them.
We envision a natural resource governance field where actors from government, civil society, industry, and academia have the knowledge and support they need to tackle corruption risks more effectively at the global, national, and subnational levels.
The Redesigned LTRC
The COVID-19 pandemic raised important challenges to the original design of LTRC, which was based in part on pilots that required extensive face-to-face interaction in the field. Recognizing early in the pandemic that the crisis would extend for quite some time, we consulted extensively with local and global partners.
The result is a re-designed LTRC, a program we believe has changed for the better. LTRC now has a line of work at the global level focused on specific topics identified as priorities together with the natural resource governance community. We have also consolidated and enlarged our in-country work, which now involves a research portfolio organized around tackling knowledge gaps identified by local stakeholders, identifying opportunities for piloting solutions to concrete problems anti-corruption actors face, and building learning communities to discuss possible solutions to context-specific challenges.
Our Approach to Natural Resource Governance
LTRC intends to position itself as a strategic knowledge and research partner to organizations at the subnational, national, and international levels leading the charge against corruption and promoting good governance in the natural resource governance field.
As noted above, in our analysis of the current context of a given geography, and in promoting the co-design of strategies to deal with corruption-related challenges, we use the TAP-Plus framework. This framework is the result of a wide-ranging evidence review on efforts to improve natural resource governance. While evidence on TAP approaches is mixed, we found that most promising results were achieved when individual TAP efforts reinforce each other, while keeping in mind at the design stage context dimensions that may affect their effectiveness and understanding implementation gaps for past efforts. Below is an explainer video of the TAP-Plus approach.
Our Strategic Areas of Work at the Global and Country Level
Consistent with the proceedings of our Dialogue on the Future of Natural Resource Governance, convened with other leaders in the field, including the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) and the Transparency and Accountability Initiative (TAI), as well as our interactions with local stakeholders over the last couple of years, LTRC will:
- Promote new multistakeholder coalitions for change in each country where we work and at the global level and support these coalitions with knowledge brokering services.
- Open opportunities for a closer complementarity between international, national, and local-level actors.
- Explicitly tackle in our research and policy debates the centrality of politics, power dynamics, and state capture in overcoming corruption risks.
- Undertake and promote research that fills knowledge gaps in support of stronger governance systems and that can be used in protecting civic space, overcoming lack of trust between stakeholders, building technical capacity more effectively, promoting better use of data, and preventing abuse and conflict.
- Lead or partner in efforts to build knowledge around emerging issues that will mark the future of the field, such as the role of investors in improving natural resource governance and approaches for enhancing governance around the energy transition.
There are three principles we pursue in our work:
- We support local, country, and global change processes.
- We use and promote the use of evidence in policies, programs, and interventions.
- We facilitate opportunities for information exchange among all stakeholders engaging with the natural resource value chain.
To learn more about LTRC, please view our main page and read our most recent blogs. To learn more about our in-country and global work, view a summary of our work streams here. To access evidence on TAP efforts along the natural resource value chain, visit our interactive database. Sign up for the quarterly LTRC newsletter here; view the most recent edition here.