Two members of staff of NEITI were in the United Kingdom as special nominee for Extractive Hub. The staff members are Jide Arowosaiye and Chinenye Okechukwu all of the NEITI Technical Department.
The Extractives Hub, launched in February 2017, was created to inform public debate. It collates publications from a range of credible sources and institutions to provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ where policymakers and legislators alike can easily access published materials on natural resource management. The University of Dundee’s Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy curates the content of the Hub and assists in sourcing leading research and resources.
Recognising that it will not be enough to merely post documents online, a unique formula has been developed to bring the Extractives Hub to a global audience. This involves the use of Local ‘Hub Champions’ to work alongside the London-based team to engage local users, understand their needs and enable them to access relevant documents and technical support.
To build further on the contribution that the Extractives Hub can make by connecting policymakers to relevant and up-to-date information, the Local Hub Champions in November attended a meeting of the current cohort of champions, alongside colleagues from Ghana, Zambia, Kenya and Uganda. The group had the opportunity to feedback initial reactions to the platform to the global team, which will be factored into future plans. They learnt from the experience of others and from the global team, and have returned to Nigeria with greater understanding and knowledge gleaned over the course of a lively and enriching two-day debate.
In addition to enabling access to a comprehensive body of knowledge on the extractives sector, the Hub offers technical support from world-class experts and academics with practical experience in the sector. Expert consultancy services are free of charge for government officials in approximately 30 focus countries and may include access to expert advisory support, tailored training courses or research.
According to a World Bank report released in 2014, “Knowledge is central to development”. About half of all reports written by the World Bank have the objective of informing public debate. The World Bank report however, states that 30% of these policy reports are never downloaded and so do not reach their intended audience.
Since launching in Nigeria in May 2017, uptake has been impressive, with almost 20% of registered users of the Extractives Hub from Nigeria, alongside a growing user base globally. The Hub is working with a few government organisations like NNPC, NILS, National Assembly, NEITI and others who have expressed interest.
The meeting also provided an opportunity to share plans for the future of the Extractives Hub, which include the potential to move into data visualisation, to upgrade the user experience on the site and to develop targeted ‘packages’ of information for users, based on their areas of interest.