The global participation backlash: Implications for natural resource initiatives

Kendra Dupuy

Civil society organizations can help to ensure good governance over natural resources as members of global multi-stakeholder initiatives like the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. Yet a good number of resource-rich countries have legally restricted civil society organizations’ independence and ability to operate, challenging organizations’ contributions to these initiatives. This has led to initiatives shutting down in some countries, undermined their intended effects, and resulted in the appointment of government-friendly civil society organizations. Donors can counterbalance this backlash against participation rights by supporting efforts to improve the evidence base about organizations’ involvement in resource governance, emphasizing the value of their involvement in multi-stakeholder initiatives, and by supporting organizational capacity building as well as information alternatives like media organizations and technological initiatives.

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