Our Projects

Mining for Sustainable Development

A Transparency International Global Thematic Network Initiative

What is the Mining for Sustainable Development Program?

To promote sustainable development, Transparency International’s Mining for Sustainable Development (M4SD) Program will identify where the mining awards process could be vulnerable to a lack of transparency and accountability.

It will address these weaknesses by working with key stakeholders to create change within government, mining companies/operators, civil society and affected communities.

The M4SD Program complements existing efforts to improve transparency in extractive industries by focusing specifically on the beginning of the decision chain: the point at which governments grant mining permits and licenses, negotiate contracts and make agreements.

Who is participating in M4SD Program?

Transparency International Canada is one of 20 Transparency International National Chapters participating in this global initiative, coordinated by TI Australia.

Participating chapters: Armenia, Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Colombia, DRC, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Mongolia, Mozambique, Niger, Peru, PNG, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

We work in coalition with industry, government and civil society. Through the M4SD Program we are building coalitions for action at a national, regional and global level.

How does the M4SD Program work?

The Program will run over five years, divided into two phases:

Phase I (2016-2017): Each participating National Chapter will identify and assess the risks of corruption in the mining awards process in their country using the Mining Awards Corruption Risk Assessment (MACRA) Tool developed for Transparency International. They will publish a national risk assessment report on their results.

In coalition with key stakeholders, National Chapters will then use the results to develop local evidence-based action plans to address these risks. A global analysis report will also be produced from the national risk assessments.

Phase II (2018-2020): National, regional and global strategies will be implemented to create changes to policy and practice in selected countries and globally.

How was the MACRA Tool developed?

Transparency International engaged an independent expert consultant to develop the MACRA Tool to provide National Chapters with a clear and robust methodology for identifying and assessing the risks of corruption in the process(es) for awarding mineral rights in their country.

The MACRA Tool builds on Transparency International’s extensive experience with corruption risk assessment in other fields such as National Integrity Systems. It also incorporates features of mining and extractives sector-specific instruments developed by other organizations. Finally, the MACRA Tool refers users to the wealth of existing resources that can support the investigative process.

In developing the MACRA Tool, contributions and feedback were sought and obtained from experts across multilateral institutions such as the World Bank and the UNDP, major international NGOs including Publish What You Pay and the Natural Resource Governance Institute, and industry bodies such as the International Council on Mining and Minerals. Pilot implementation of the MACRA Tool in three countries (Armenia, Chile and Mongolia) also generated useful insights that allowed for further refining of the Tool.

The MACRA Tool methodology will be made publicly available upon publication of the national reports.

What are the key elements of the MACRA Tool?

1. Collect information about the process in theory and practice, and determine context
The MACRA Tool guides researchers to begin by collecting information about the mining awards process and to produce ‘process maps’ or diagrams that show the steps involved. This includes the documents applicants must submit, key decision makers, decision-making criteria, availability and oversight of decisions.

Users are also instructed to gather information about what happens in practice and to conduct a contextual analysis of relevant political, economic, social, technological and administrative factors that influence the awards process. Researchers will use a range of research methods, including desk research of primary and secondary literature, one-on-one interviews and focus groups.

2. Identify vulnerabilities in the process design, practice and context
With this foundation in place, researchers then identify where the process design, process practice and contextual factors exhibit significant vulnerabilities or weaknesses to corruption. The MACRA Tool provides guidance on indicators of vulnerability.

3. Identify and assess the likelihood and impact of risks created by these vulnerabilities
From these vulnerabilities, researchers define specific corruption risks and then assess the likelihood and impact of these risks. The MACRA tool contains a list and details of 89 common corruption risks as a reference. Researchers must collect and analyze information regarding the likelihood and impact of the identified risks to ensure that their conclusions are based on a number of sources of evidence.

The likelihood and impact of each risk are to be given a rating from 1-5, from which the overall rating for the risk is derived. The MACRA tool instructs users to involve a range of perspectives in the rating exercise to overcome bias and subjectivity.

4. Validate findings, prioritize risks and produce a risk assessment report
Finally, National Chapters must ensure that their findings are appropriately validated by country experts. Findings will be published in a national risk assessment report. Chapters will prioritize the most significant risks to identify strategic priorities for action.

How is the research implemented?

National Chapter representatives and their researchers have all been trained on the MACRA Tool.

Ongoing support is provided by the MSD Program’s Research Coordinator, who reviews key research documents, provides technical support on the methodology and facilitates peer learning among researchers.

The Research Coordinator will review draft national risk assessment reports, seeking the assistance of additional country experts where required.

A Global Analysis Report will be developed based on the national reports. The global report will highlight key case studies and identify key global and regional issues and trends. A thorough validation and peer review process, involving relevant experts from global and multilateral organizations and the Transparency International Secretariat, will ensure the accuracy and reliability of the Global Analysis Report.

For inquiries about the project in Canada:
James Cohen
Interim-Executive Director, TI Canada
For inquiries about the global program:
Andrea Shaw
Program Manager, TI Australia

Phase I of the Program is funded by the BHP Billiton Foundation and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.