Capacity building of developing country public sector institutions in the natural resource sector
M. H. Stephenson, I. E. Penn, 2005. "Capacity building of developing country public sector institutions in the natural resource sector", Sustainable Minerals Operations in the Developing World, B. R. Marker, M. G. Petterson, F. McEvoy, M. H. Stephenson
Download citation file:
The natural resources of developing countries, particularly in a post-conflict situation, are the key to creating wealth, getting people back to work, and to improving security. However, public sector institutions like geological surveys, and government departments such as mines, energy and water ministries often need help in their vision to promote and sustainably develop their natural capital, as well as to protect the lives and livelihoods of people affected by development. Some have few physical resources, and a poorly trained and motivated workforce; others may be housed in buildings that have borne the brunt of prolonged fighting and a long period of neglect. In many developing countries, such institutions have a rather inward-facing colonial-style civil service culture that lacks the ability to liaise and engage with modern multinational investors. Unfortunately, donor organizations that seek to build the capacities of institutions do not build sufficient ‘project ownership’ and fail to incorporate into their plans the culture of the organization, or fail to integrate parts of multidisciplinary projects. Development projects supported are often perceived to reflect donor agendas rather than the needs of the recipient institution. Using experience in a number of developing country and post-conflict contexts, a methodology to plan and integrate capacity building has been developed, to help employees and management, and donor organizations, deal with these difficulties. Through training tuned to business need, institutions will develop appropriate IT and communication skills, while at the same time developing corporate understanding of the private sector, which is needed to interact successfully with it. Stakeholder analysis gauges the organization’s strengths and weaknesses and ensures coordination of aid, which takes account of the local social, political and business context. The methodology will also establish a system allowing regular cyclical business/training review, so that the institutions can adapt to further change.
Figures & Tables
Sustainable Minerals Operations in the Developing World
The sustainable development of minerals, which are non-renewable resources, is a major challenge in today’s world. In this regard the true definition of sustainability’ is a debating point in itself: can such a concept exist with respect to non-renewable resources? Perhaps the ideal sustainability model is one that minimizes negative environmental impact and maximizes benefits to society, the economy and regional/national development. Developed and near-developed economies rely for commodity supplies on developing countries where major mining operations are often a mainstay of the domestic economy. Limited environmental regulation and low wages lead to charges of exploitation. Also, large numbers of people have no alternative to living by informal, often dangerous, ‘artisanal’ mining. This Special Publication gives examples from developing countries at all scales of mineral extraction. The volume reviews environmental, economic, health and social problems and highlights the need to solve these before sustainability can be achieved. The better solutions require mutual understanding, through full involvement of all stakeholders, education, training and investment so that small-scale ansd artisinal mines can grow into well-managed operations. At larger scales, most major interantional mining companies have now inoproved their practices and are monitoring their progress, although there is no room for complacency in this rapidly changing area.