There is no one amongst us with them! Transparency and participation in local natural resource revenue management
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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To redistribute natural resource revenues back to local communities and to promote equitable benefit-sharing and inclusive decision-making, companies and governments increasingly use local benefit-sharing trust funds (LBSTFs) in resource-rich developing countries. Many LBSTFs manage substantial amounts of money, often in regions far from the central government and amongst politically and economically marginalized groups. Focusing on two LBSTFs in Ghana, this article examines the challenges for meaningful participation by local residents. The findings indicate that local residents lack access to relevant information, that the representation mechanisms in place restrict their opportunities to voice their opinions, and that they have no real influence on decision-making. In general, local residents feel a low sense of ownership towards the funds and the funded projects. The results suggest that to enhance meaningful participation, an LBSTF should be independent from the mining company and the intended beneficiaries themselves should be able to choose their representatives for the fund.