Consultancy: Research on implementation gaps in resource governance in Africa

Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI)
Home-Based / Remote
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified


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Over the past decades, many African countries have adopted new oil, gas and mining laws. Many new laws include enhanced provisions on transparency, accountability and community development, as a result of government ambition to capture larger benefits from the sector, civil society advocacy on transparency and development, and regional discourse and international technical assistance and standards. However, based on the 2017 Resource Governance Index (RGI), resource rich countries commonly experience “implementation gaps”, i.e. have not implemented all relevant transparency and accountability rules in practice. Implementation gaps are particularly pronounced in Sub-Saharan Africa. The widest gaps are found in relation to environmental and social impacts and subnational revenue sharing. Where legal reform is more recent, the gap is wider. NRGI has commissioned a global literature review to examine the factors contributing to the implementation gap.

As a result of lack of implementation, countries and citizens do not achieve the benefits they seek from legal reforms, causing frustration, mistrust between stakeholders and potentially aggravating conflicts. NRGI seeks to build on these past and ongoing research and conduct case studies specific to the Africa region on why certain factors leading to implementation gaps are more pronounced in specific countries and policy themes, and developing targeted responses and related recommendations to address the issue.

Objective of the research

NRGI seeks to hire one or more consultants to conduct policy process-oriented research on implementation challenges related to specific resource governance rules in African countries. The aim is to better understand causes of implementation gaps in different economic, political and sectoral contexts, analyze differences and commonalities, and develop recommendations for addressing and raising awareness on implementation challenges associated with resource governance reform.

The consultant research should answer the following overarching questions:

Reasons of implementation gaps: What factors in reform processes have led to rules that are not implemented? What factors constrain implementation after rules have been passed? When are certain factors more prominent than others?

Responses to implementation gaps: How can governments, oversight institutions and technical advisors intervene to alter the above dynamics to a) take implementation into account when designing or advocating for legal reform, and b) strengthen implementation of existing laws and regulations, so that the ultimate intended impacts of laws can be met?

Recommendations will be directed to various stakeholders involved in rule design and implementation in resource rich countries in Africa (policymakers in government and parliaments, oversight actors, and regional institutions among others). It will also seeks to enhance NRGI’s own as well as other technical advisors and donors’ integration of implementation considerations in program design.

Scope of work

The consultant(s) will conduct 3-5 country case studies each focusing on a specific policy issue. The policy issues will focus on the areas where gaps appear largest, such as contract disclosure, beneficial ownership disclosure, resource revenue sharing and local development mechanisms, and revenue management. The research will focus on a selection of countries where NRGI operates: Ghana, Guinea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Tanzania, Senegal and Burkina Faso. The country and topic selection will be confirmed in collaboration with the NRGI team at the start of the consultancy.

The consultant(s) will undertake the following specific activities:

Inputs to research design (building on existing NRGI resources)

  • Kick-off with NRGI project team to confirm objectives, ways of working and milestones
  • Finalization of case study selection
  • Finalization of common research framework for all case studies
  • Familiarization with relevant general literature

Case study research

  • Desktop review of literature and data, identification of interviewees and primary sources
  • Consultations with NRGI country teams where necessary
  • Interviews with relevant stakeholders (in country or remote, tbd)
  • Drafting of 3-5 page case study on each
  • Comparative analysis of the case studies, discussing commonalities and differences, and drafting recommendations for different stakeholders

Report drafting

  • Produce a report (approx. 30 pages) containing: i) an introduction on the rationale and approach of the research with review of relevant literature, ii) case studies with appropriate references, iii) an analytical, comparative section on findings and iv) recommendations.
  • Addressing NRGI comments and finalization

Timeline and deliverables 

A tentative timeline is presented below and will be finalized together with selected consultant(s).

Consultant deliverables

Timeline- The work will be carried out between August 2019  January 2020

Consultant requirements

The consultant(s) should meet the following requirements:

  • Experience from researching legal and/or policy reform processes and the ability to contribute to the research design and methodology
  • Familiarity with resource governance, preferably the work of NRGI or other transparency and accountability actors (EITI, Publish What You Pay), or donors or technical assistance partners
  • Familiarity with the countries and policy issues in the scope of the research
  • Excellent skills in English and French (ability to review documents and conduct interviews)
  • Excellent qualitative research and interview skills, experience from interacting with senior public officials
  • Excellent and proven skills in drafting reports, summarizing complex information in succinct and persuasive ways
  • Good project and time management skills and ability to independently conduct high quality work
  • Teamwork skills and consultative approach

Remuneration will be commensurate to experience.

Instructions to apply

Please apply by submitting a one-page motivation letter, CV and a writing sample demonstrating relevant research and writing skills via the application system by 5 August. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and early applications are encouraged.