Our past projects include policy, program, and impact analysis as well as a broad range of academic research
Sustainability as Impact
REPORT TO THE SEC ON REVENUE TRANSPARENCY IN THE EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES
As the SEC was considering implementation of Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, RG-SI was asked to perform an analysis to quantify the merits of natural resource revenue transparency. This study represents an empirical analysis of the impact that increased resource revenue transparency has had in resource rich countries, using the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) as a proxy for resource revenue transparency. It empirically examines whether participation in the EITI has had a positive effect on the economic development of countries highly dependent on their natural resources sectors, or, in other words, has in some way alleviated the economic component of the resource curse. View Report
Evaluating Legal Institutional Reforms in Countries with Weak Rule of Law: The Pitt Vis Moot Experience
An RG-SI researcher was part of a team at the University of Pittsburgh that ran an impact evaluation of the Pitt Law School's participation in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot. The study looked at the academic and career impacts on Pitt students who participated in the Moot. It also examined impacts of Moot participation by university students at foreign schools, mostly in the Middle East and Balkans, on their careers and their perspectives on rule of law.
drg Aid Impact Study
An RG-SI researcher was part of a University of Pittsburgh team that led an initial study to determine the scope of needs to extend previous USAID-sponsored research examining the impact of democracy and governance aid on democratic outcomes. As part of this research, a complete review of the diversity of data sources, their quality and availability was conducted in preparation for the expanded impact study.
Sustainability as Inclusion and Representation
PUBLIC SUPPORT FOR SECTARIAN POLITICS IN LEBANON
As part of a multi-partner project, an RG-SI researcher worked with Dr. Laura Paler (University of Pittsburgh) and Sami Atallah (Director of the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies) to implement complementary survey and dialogue experiments to study the obstacles to cross-sectarian political mobilization and support for programmatic politics. The data collection is complete. Academic papers are forthcoming in Journal of Politics. A policy brief reporting some of the key findings from one of the survey experiments is available here.
PERSPECTIVES ON REPRESENTATION: AN ATTITUDINAL SURVEY OF WOMEN CANDIDATES IN UGANDA
An RG-SI researcher, in collaboration with the Centre for Women in Governance in Uganda (CEWIGO), collected data using two survey instruments as well as interviews and focus groups with women competing for elected local government office in 10 districts in the 2016 Ugandan elections. The goal was to study candidates' attitudes toward representation and communication with constituents to improve CEWIGO's programming efforts related to women in leadership in Uganda. Data collection is complete and an internal program evaluation was submitted to CEWIGO. Academic papers are in progress.
Sustainability as Governance
CORRUPTION AND THE EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES IN AFRICA
An RG-SI researcher provided a summary of the role of corruption in the process of resource extraction in Africa. Corruption fosters rent-seeking behavior and mismanagement of resources at several steps in the extraction process, including bidding and licensing and tax revenue collection, thus undermining the potential for those resources to contribute to economic development. Some existing initiatives, such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), attempt to address these challenges, but, as this analysis shows, they are insufficient. Corporate social responsibility initiatives and laws concerning transparency from resource importing governments can begin to fill in some gaps in the accountability process.
EVALUATION OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE EXTRACTIVE INDUSTRIES TRANSPARENCY INITIATIVE (EITI)
It has been argued that transparency can play an important role in allowing governments and citizens to benefit from their natural resource wealth. This study assesses the impact of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) membership on two factors argued to be affected by resource wealth, economic development and corruption. Using panel data from 1997/98 to 2014, the study estimates a fixed effects model to evaluate the impact of joining the EITI on changes in economic and corruption indicators overtime and compared to non-members, conditional on a country’s level of resource dependence. The study finds that the EITI has had a significant and positive effect on economic development in member states since its inception, but these effects have not yet been translated to observable and significant improvements in control of corruption. The economic benefits of revenue transparency have important implications for resource producing governments who are considering joining the EITI and for resource importing governments that are currently considering increased regulation concerning revenue transparency in the extractive industries.
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CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY (CSR) IN MINING SECTORS IN AFRICA
In a multi-year research project, an RG-SI researcher analyzed the role of political and institutional structures in determining CSR practices in the mining industry in Africa. Using a comparative case study methodology, CSR practices were compared in Botswana, Ghana and South Africa. The analysis used interview based field research in South Africa and Botswana, focusing on The De Beers Group, and company CSR reporting. Academic publication include an analysis of the role of "local context" in determining CSR activities in Southern Africa.
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GOVERNANCE OF HYDRAULIC FRACTURING IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
Published as a book chapter and article, an RG-SI researcher and Dr. Ilia Murtazashvili at the University of Pittsburgh used a conceptual framework that specifies several variables expected to contribute to sustainable hydraulic fracturing to characterizes the prospects for sustainable hydraulic fracturing in South Africa and Botswana. The framework and evidence clarifies the institutional capacity and institutional challenges confronting the sub-Saharan African countries as extraction of natural resources using hydraulic fracturing begins in earnest.