For resource-rich developing countries, effective natural resource governance is crucial for economic development and poverty alleviation. During the most recent commodity boom and bust, Mongolia continuously reformed its governance structures, seeking to increase the efficiency of its mining operations. Today Mongolia has a mix of socialist-style state-owned enterprises, contemporary equity ownership models and production-sharing agreements. Mongolians are learning from past policy decisions and developing solutions to strengthen their resource governance practices. They are also sharing knowledge with regional stakeholders from similar economies to foster peer-to-peer learning around good extractive sector governance.
Peer-to-peer learning plays an important role in knowledge mobilization and in sharing real experience by creating learning opportunities between countries at similar stages of resource development. Given its academic affiliations, CIRDI is in a unique position to offer a neutral forum for learning and the exchange of ideas. The emphasis on international peer-to-peer learning helps to defuse partisanship, enabling richer discussion on otherwise politicized topics. Participants sought to teach and share, rather than defend. This workshop series mobilized domestic and international knowledge, created new connections between stakeholders, and encouraged transparency in discussions on resource governance.
CIRDI and the International Cooperation Fund (ICF) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia collaborated on a three-part workshop series focused on sharing Mongolia’s experiences in natural resource governance and management with other newly democratized countries with resource-based economies. This series was aimed to strengthen resource governance in Mongolia and ICF target countries by building a network of Mongolian stakeholders engaged in resource governance dialogue, and creating peer-to-peer learning and partnership opportunities among Mongolian and ICF target country decision-makers. Ultimately, this projects sought to enhance the capacity of Mongolians and other project participants to improve their country’s governance and management policies and practices to better utilize their extractive sector in order to stimulate sustainable economic growth, reduce poverty, improve gender equity and safeguard their environment.
To promote equitable access to information and resources to increase women’s capacity for decision-making, organizers of the workshop series ensured female participation in all workshops. For the workshop hosted in Mongolia in May 2016, average female participation was 18.5%, with 22% of invited panelists and speakers being female. For the workshop hosted in the Kyrgyz Republic in November 2016, 44% of the 61 participants were female, with 35% of speakers and panelists being women. For the final workshop, 50% of participants were female. Among the five international delegates, three Kyrgyz participants were female. Finally, the teaching case study highlights the composition of agreement negotiation teams, which included several female government representatives and mining executives, and examines the content of the agreement from a gender-sensitive perspective.
The workshops promoted enhanced environmental stewardship by increasing access to information and mobilizing knowledge among stakeholders and change-makers for improved governance practices that account for environmental safeguarding. In particular, peer-to-peer discussions focused on policy development were relevant to environmental protection as one of the pillars for sustainable development.
The main objective of this workshop series was to strengthen the capacity of male and female government officials and other stakeholders of Mongolia and ICF target countries for informed decision-making to strengthen democracy through the sustainable development of the mining sector. Ensuring multi-stakeholder participation in the workshop, in particular, contributes to inclusive governance and enhanced civic engagement, as it allows dialogue and networking among representatives of government, industry and civil society.
Through increased access to information and knowledge of leading global resource governance practices, this workshop series was aimed to strengthen the capacity of Mongolian and ICF target country mining sector stakeholders to improve governance practices for the sustainable development of the mining sector.